A large 80 percent of small businesses say they have experienced reduced customer demand as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, according to a new industry report.
Published by the National Association of Small Businesses, the report additionally notes that a reduction in customer demand has been recorded for the 49 percent of respondents.
Even more, reflecting prospects of a larger economic downturn, more than 65 percent of the survey’s respondents said they expect to see a recession between now and early 2021. That is a more than 50 percent increase over responses to the same question documented in a survey taken in January of this year.
In a statement, Todd McCracken, chief executive officer of the association, said, “Nearly half of small businesses are not confident in the future of their own business.”
Perhaps adding to the anxiety that many small businesses are currently feeling, only 18 percent of companies with ten or few employees said they had received help through the Small Business Administration’s Payroll Protection Program.
Some 52 percent of businesses with fifty or more employees, conversely, said they had been approved for PPP loans.
Underlining the need for PPP loans, McCracken continued: “We have been saying from the start: maintaining cash-flow and liquidity is essential to a vibrant small business community which funds, drives, and fosters all of our communities.”
The survey also revealed that 41 percent of respondents said they had experienced delays or closures in the supply chain needed for their businesses, up from 33 percent in March.
Exactly 36 percent said they had also been subject to mandated business closures—a question that wasn’t asked in the association’s last survey.
Despite such troubling statistics, a still-strong 42 percent of respondents said they felt “somewhat confident” regarding the future of their businesses, down only slightly from 46 percent who responded the same way in March.
Based in Washington, the National Small Business Association represents more than 65,000 small businesses across the country.
By Garry Boulard
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