Although it may not be as apparent as in previous decades, small businesses are the backbone of American society. Their benefits are far reaching and are felt throughout the entire economy, as we’ve seen over the duration of this pandemic. Small businesses affect a community’s health, involvement & identity; building lasting relationships with the community, creating jobs for the area’s residents and developing a community’s character. The idea of small business is the American Dream, providing opportunities to make a better life through innovation and craft.
But recently, due to COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus, small businesses around America have not been able to prosper as they normally do. The pandemic had the power to shut down states across the country, as well as some of the biggest, fundamental, cities in America, including New York City. From new curfews, to learning how to practice social distancing, small businesses have been put to the test to see if they can withstand this new challenge.
According to the National Federation of Independent Business, also known as NFIB, 92% of small employers have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus outbreak and only about 3% of small employers stated that their company has been positively impacted. Another study done by NFIB, explained that 50% of the small businesses they spoke to said they can only survive for 2 months under these conditions, while 33% of other small businesses believed they could remain operating under coronavirus conditions for 3-6 months.
Last week closed out the 10thweek of quarantine in New York – more than 2 months have passed and we are just starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Business owners have adapted and pivoted their products and services to withstand the pandemic, but not all have been successful. Economists predict that over 100,000 small businesses have shut down permanently since the beginning of the pandemic (Heather Long, Washington Post).
We have to continue to help small businesses stay afloat as the country reopens.