NFIB survey outlines COVID-19’s effect on small businesses

A new survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business outlines the impact that the coronavirus outbreak has had on small businesses across the country. 

With 700 responses, the NFIB says that the survey offers “a stark contrast from the survey released 10 days ago” and the “magnitude of disruption now on the small business sector is profound.”

Some of the key results of the survey can be found below:

  • Currently, 76% of small businesses are negatively impacted by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, a dramatic escalation from just under one-quarter of small businesses reporting the same earlier this month. About 5% are positively impacted. These firms are likely experiencing stronger sales due to a sharp rise in demand for certain products, goods, and services. This will presumably ease in the coming weeks as consumers feel more secure about their personal supply levels.
  • Of those businesses negatively impacted, 23% are experiencing 9% of owners citing sick employees likely responded out of heightened concern and precautions with sick employees showing some signs of cold or flu-like symptoms, but not necessarily because they have employees who have tested positive for the virus.
  • Almost all small business owners are taking some sort of action adjusting to their changing economic condition or to protect themselves from potential disruption. Just 6% of owners have not taken any action in response to the outbreak, a marked departure from more than half (52%) not taking action two weeks ago. 
  • Another 23% are somewhat concerned and 9% are slightly concerned. Just 1% are not at all concerned.
  • While many small businesses (47%) have not talked with their bank about financing needs, 30% are planning to do so soon. Another 13% have talked with their personal bank already, 9% with the SBA about their loan programs, and 1% with an online lender.

State-specific data is not available at this time, but NFIB Mississippi Director Dawn Starns said, “These are trying times, but our small business members are determined to get through this and will do everything can to safely deliver the goods and services their customers need right now.”

Small businesses in Mississippi that have been severely impacted by the outbreak can apply for low-interest federal disaster loans after Governor Tate Reeves’ statewide request for an Economic Disaster Declaration was approved late last week.