Small Business Majority Releases New Survey Data and Calls on Congress to Act Now on a Comprehensive Stimulus Package

For Immediate Release: 
Wednesday, October 21, 2020

New network survey reveals more than 1 in 3 small businesses, 4 in 10 Black and Latino-owned businesses face closure in the next few months without additional stimulus funding

Washington, DC – In the midst of stimulus negotiations on Capitol Hill this week, Small Business Majority released a new network survey revealing how dire the situation is for the nation’s smallest business owners and called on Congress to immediately put aside their differences and pass a robust stimulus package with strong small business measures. 

Without action from Congress and the White House, an astounding 35% of small businesses in Small Business Majority’s network, including 41% of Black and Latino-owned small businesses, fear they will be forced to close their doors for good in the next three months. These numbers have grown since the organization’s last network survey was released on August 27, when 26% of small businesses expected to face closure in the next three months.

Additional key findings from the survey include:

  • A wave of commercial evictions and foreclosures is likely on the horizon, with 8 in 10 small business owners reporting that they are struggling to make commercial rent or mortgage payments—up 18% since late August. Slightly more business owners of color (84%) report the same. 
  • Sixty-four percent of all small businesses and 73% of Black and Latino-owned businesses are concerned they will have to permanently lay off employees without immediate federal relief. More than 6 in 10 Black and Latino small business owners are very concerned they will have to make permanent layoffs, and 10% have already done so. 
  • When asked what the number one priority should be for Congress and the White House before Election Day, small businesses ranked a comprehensive stimulus package as their top concern. Fifty-five percent ranked negotiating on a comprehensive, bipartisan stimulus package that includes small business assistance and unemployment insurance as the number one priority, followed by 29% who want to see a standalone small business relief bill, 5% who want another round of stimulus checks for some Americans and 4% who want see the Supreme Court nominee confirmed. 
  • Forty-five percent of small business owners rank reduced consumer demand as the top concern for their business right now. Meanwhile, 15% of Black and Latino small business owners  are still unable to reopen their businesses.

“Small businesses around the country feel they’ve been abandoned by Washington as they have held on by whatever means necessary during the past several months of congressional inaction,” said John Arensmeyer, Founder and CEO of Small Business Majority. “For some small business owners this has meant depleting their personal and retirement savings, not paying themselves in order to pay their employees and pivoting their business models on a dime, all while holding out hope that more federal relief may arrive soon. And for many businesses owned by people of color, aid never arrived in the first place as they were left behind by the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). 

While PPP was a lifeline for many small businesses during the early months of the pandemic, we must look beyond the program to bolster our economic recovery. Fixing and re-starting PPP is important, but our leaders must also recognize that we need robust, long-term recovery programs as part of a comprehensive stimulus package that will support the most vulnerable businesses and ensure they have the tools to fully rebuild. 

The end is drawing near for far too many small businesses. Congressional leaders and the White House absolutely must come to an agreement this week on a package that can pass both chambers and be signed into law. A wave of permanent small business closures is looming on the horizon if they do not act now, ” said Arensmeyer.

About Small Business Majority

Small Business Majority is a national small business organization that empowers America's diverse entrepreneurs to build a thriving and inclusive economy. We engage our network of more than 70,000 small businesses and 1,000 business and community organizations to advocate for public policy solutions and deliver resources to entrepreneurs that promote equitable small business growth. Our deep connections with the small business community along with our scientific research enable us to educate the public about key issues impacting America’s entrepreneurs, with a special focus on advancing the smallest businesses and those facing systemic inequalities. Learn more about us on our website and follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

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