Nearly 60% of small business owners are experiencing losses related to the coronavirus crisis and more than 50% say they are expecting layoffs or plan to close, according to a Next Insurance survey.
The results of the survey conducted in late March illustrate the unprecedented impact COVID-19 is having across many sectors of small businesses. Of the more than 800 businesses that responded, only 12% reported they do not expect any impact on their business.
Small business owners that will be affected by the coronavirus pandemic shared a variety of concerns:
• 52% expect reduced cash flow
• 46% anticipate a decreased demand for products/services
• 31% could close their business
• 21% expect layoffs
• 17% could experience supply chain disruptions
Most business owners that responded say they don’t have the resources or the proper advice to prepare for a crisis of this magnitude. As a result, 26% are already putting their business on hold and 41% are cutting expenses.
While some businesses have turned to working from home to follow social distancing mandates, 63% of business owners that responded to the survey say that is not an option for them during the crisis.
How small businesses are looking for help
Small business owners are split on the best options for financial help in response to the crisis, according to the survey results.
As Congress continued to negotiate a stimulus package on Capitol Hill while the survey was underway, 36% of respondents suggested a government-assisted cash infusion or stimulus as the best course of action to respond to the crisis.
Other business owners say paid leave and tax credits (14%), delayed tax payments (12%), or low-interest disaster loans (12%) could have a greater impact.
The $2 trillion stimulus deal negotiated by Congress is expected to provide some relief with $350 billion in small business loans, $250 billion in direct payments to individuals and families, and another $250 billion in unemployment insurance benefits, according to news reports.
The federal Small Business Administration has also made loans available through its Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. The loans of up to $2 million for small businesses and nonprofits can help to mitigate the unexpected loss of revenue.
Local governments across the United States and private-sector organizations are offering assistance through grants and loans, as well.
How Next Insurance supports small business
As business owners respond to the coronavirus crisis, Next’s insurance advisors are standing by to assist. More resources will be shared online at nextinsurance.com.
Learn more about the Next Insurance small business owner survey results: