More Than 20% Of Small Businesses Will Lay Off Workers Without More Relief

Date: October 15, 2020

Latest NFIB COVID-19 Survey A Cause For Alarm And Action

NFIB’s 12th COVID-19 small busines survey shows that difficult choices lie ahead for Main Street.

After more than six months of COVID-19 health challenges, government-mandated shutdowns, and continued government restrictions, small businesses are running out of federal relief. As a result, many are preparing to do whatever they can to stay afloat. Most concerningly, 22% of small business owners anticipate laying off employees within the next 6 months.

See all the findings of NFIB’s COVID-19 survey here.

Holly Wade, Executive Director of NFIB’s Research Center, said: “Small business owners continue to do everything in their power to keep their doors open during this crisis. They have sacrificed and scraped by, cutting costs wherever they can and adjusting business operations to keep up with shifts in consumer spending and economic conditions. But they can’t keep it up forever. They need Congress to step up with targeted recovery support.”

Small businesses may be forced to take action because pandemic financial assistance is disappearing. Nearly 90% of small businesses have completely used their forgivable loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). However, with ongoing COVID-19 health issues and government restrictions still limiting their business operations, about 50% of small businesses believe they will need more recovery funds within the next 12 months.

About three-fourths of those businesses would or would consider applying or reapplying for a PPP loan if given the chance. Such strong interest indicates that Main Street still needs significant support.

All told, nearly half of small businesses have not recovered from the damage of the past seven months. For 21% of small businesses, sales are still less than half of what they were pre-pandemic and pre-shutdown. For another 28% of small businesses, sales are between 50 and 74%.

Additionally, most small business owners do not expect business conditions to return to normal in the immediate future:

  • 10% of owners anticipate conditions improving to normal levels by the end of the year.
  • 60% of owners anticipate it taking until sometime in 2021.
  • 20% anticipate a return to normalcy sometime in 2022.
  • Only 4% say that conditions are back to normal now.

In light of these continued struggles, NFIB has strongly urged Congress to enact another round of coronavirus relief. NFIB has issued a four-point legislative plan that would meet small businesses’ biggest needs.

NFIB members can urge Congress to take up this plan immediately. Use our action alert to send your message to your Senators and Representatives today.

Holly Wade continued: “Our findings are a cause for alarm – and action. Congress must pass more relief as soon as possible. If lawmakers won’t act before the election, then it should be the first thing on their to-do list afterward. Small business is counting on them.”

Learn more about NFIB’s ongoing COVID-19 surveys here.

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