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As coronavirus spreads, 52.77% of American small businesses fear for the future

Guillermina Correa
by Guillermina Correa
Published on 17 March, 2020

UENI’s latest survey illustrates the feelings of small businesses in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic across the USA.

Image of people and shops in New York

On the 11th March 2020, the World Health Organization officially declared the coronavirus outbreak a ‘pandemic’. 

As the situation continues to unfold across the globe, attention has turned to the personal, medical and economic consequences of COVID19.

In Italy, one of the worst-affected European nations, spending measures have been put in place to provide economic aid to the families and firms affected by the lock-down.

France and Spain have followed suit, closing cafes, bars and restaurants and banning all non-essential travel outside the home. 

As these same policies begin to be implemented in the USA,  questions have arisen over the potential impact these closures will have on small and micro businesses. 

In acknowledgement of the serious implications this could have on the businesses we work with every day, UENI has been asking users to share their experiences and concerns during this time. 

Over the course of the last week, 235 American business owners took part in our latest survey.  The following data reflects their current experiences and concerns regarding the virus. 

Impact on livelihoods  

When asked to share how worried they felt about the spread of coronavirus impacting their business, the results were telling. 

Approximately 52.77% of entrepreneurs surveyed reported feeling some level of worry about the impact of coronavirus.

All in all, 15.74% of respondents admitted to being actively worried – stating that coronavirus is ‘already impacting their sales’.

Uphill struggle 

Next, UENI’s study focused on the critical issues facing small businesses in the coming weeks. 

When asked about their ‘biggest concerns’ about coronavirus, 21.05% of business owners claimed that their businesses ‘wouldn’t survive a long period of quarantine’.  

Small businesses are also worried about just how they will continue to carry out sales in the current climate.

In fact, 16.67% of the study’s respondents claimed that ‘not being able to sell products/services online’ is one of their leading concerns. 

Finally, 9.21% of participants said their biggest concern is ‘not having adequate/any business insurance in case of loss of income’. 

Feeling the strain 

For this final section of the study, UENI’s team was interested in unveiling the industries most feeling the strain of the epidemic, and their specific concerns.

Overall, entrepreneurs in customer-facing industries recorded the highest levels of concern about the virus.

From those surveyed, 66.67% of restaurant owners and 42.86% of hair and beauty industry leaders stated that they are ‘very worried’ about the potential impact on their business. 

Perhaps most surprisingly, 66.67% of business owners in the domestic services reported they are only ‘somewhat worried’, whilst 50% of those in the events sector are ‘not very worried’. 

Guillermina Correa
Guillermina Correa
Born in Argentina, raised in Yorkshire, Guillermina Correa is a PR and marketing assistant intrigued by how technology can help small businesses rise to the next level.

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