The Coronavirus Has Hurt 90% of Small Businesses in the U.S.

ROCKTON, ILLINOIS - MARCH 24: A normally busy Main Street is deserted as the small businesses that line the business district remain closed after the governor instituted a shelter-in-place order in an attempt to curtail the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on March 24, 2020 in Rockton, Illinois. Rockton is …
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Nearly 90 percent of small business owners say their companies have been hurt by the coronavirus.

A little over half of small businesses in the U.S. say they have experienced a large negative effect from the pandemic, according to a new survey conducted by the Commerce Department.  Another 38.5 percent said they have experienced a moderate negative effect.

Just 7.6 percent of businesses report no effect. A small positive effect was reported by 1.7 percent and a large positive effect by 0.8 percent.

The impact varies across the states. In New York, the center of the outbreak in the U.S., 62.2 percent of small businesses saw large negative effects and another 31.8 percent saw small negative effects, a combined negative of 94 percent. In South Dakota, where Governor Kristi Noem has declined to issue a broad shutdown order, just 32.7 percent of small businesses experienced large negative effects. Small negative effects were reported by 45.1 percent, a combined negative of 77.8 percent.

The effects on small businesses are not necessarily tied directly to the prevalence of the virus. In Hawaii, which has relatively few infections and just 17 coronavirus deaths, 56.6 percent of businesses said they experienced large negative effects and 39.6 percent saw small negative effects. With a combined negative score of 96.2 percent, that arguably makes it worse off than New York.

Pennsylvania and Michigan, both hotspots for resistance to the shutdown orders, have felt outsized economic impacts. In Pennsylvania, 59.7 percent report large impacts and 32.1 small negative impacts, combining for 91.8 percent. In Michigan, 64.5 percent report large negative effects and 29.2 percent report small negative effects, a combined 93.7.

Nationwide, 74 percent of small businesses say sales have dropped due to coronavirus. In Michigan, 79.7 percent of businesses say they lost revenue. In Pennsylvania, 74.1 percent. In New York, 77.3 percent. In South Dakota, 59.7 percent. In Hawaii, 81.1 percent.



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