COVID-19 International
Small Business Study

Take the Survey

Are you a small business owner? Answering a few questions can help us better understand and connect you with the help you need.

> Businesses in the United States (English)

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Voices of Small Businesses

Over 9,000 small business owners all over the United States told us how their business has been affected by the COVID-19 crisis and their opinion regarding what the government can do to help them.

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How have you and your business been affected?

"I'm a self employed personal trainer, I've been able to convert my business into an online program but I've still lost half clients because they can't afford to pay me. [..] Being self employed I don't qualify for most of the aid out there and if I do it's not even enough to cover my mortgage. I am still paying rent at a gym I don't have access to because our landlord isn't allowing us any deferment. I had $80,000 in debt before this crisis and was barely making a dent, I fear this might drown me now."

— Business owner from Colorado

"We run a small daycare center. And while childcare has been deemed an essential business, so many of our parents have lost their job we currently only have 4 children. We laid off out entire staff."

— Business owner from Nevada

"I’ve reached out to programs asking how to apply. I get no response. I applied for an SBA loan. Again, no response, not even an acknowledgement that they have received my application. I’ve applied for grants and have received no response or financial help. I’m lost and have no where to turn. With the CARES act having passed I now qualify for unemployment. I signed up the day after the MN governors mandated shut down. I’m currently going on week 4 of no income and still don’t qualify according to the states outdated website system. I have called the unemployment office every day multiple times per day and the phone has an automated message."

— Business owner from Minnesota

"Our primary source of revenue (boarding) has all but evaporated due to efforts to slow the spread of the illness. The timing is dreadful as this is normally a peak to allow us to create reserves."

— Business owner from Florida

"Coffee shop, we closed down prior to any mandatory closure to protect the health of our community. Almost total loss of income."

— Business owner from South Dakota

"We do therapy for children with Autism. Because of Covid 19, we've lost 50% of our clients. All employees have been laid off."

— Business owner from Texas

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What can the state and federal government do to help your business?

"Defer rent and mortgages. Ask credit cards to waive interest rates. Offer more grants to small business. Loans should be for the corporations, who are more likely to be able to pay back. Small businesses need the grant money.""

— Business owner from Michigan

"Everything that is offered is based on credit or giving a loan. The bridge loan Connecticut is offering is also only for business that have turned a profit. Being a brand new business I have not yet to turn a profit and I just took out a loan to open my business, 7 months ago. These programs are not helpful for new small businesses."

— Business owner from Connecticut

"Offer financial assistance to a small business proprietor with under five or 10 employees that are not going to make it if they don’t get any help and I’m not talking about a loan that we got to pay back!! Like offering me unemployment just like you do the 1099 people that never paid into the unemployment. That way I wouldn’t have to be 62 years old trying to hold my business together and work 50 hrs a week during the coronavirus peak in this area that’s going to hit in two weeks and taking a chance on being exposed to someone."

— Business owner from South Carolina

"With the PPP and EIDL loans, we are hoping to keep our full time staff employed, but with the short coverage period of the PPP, we are not convinced that will happen. If we can borrow enough via the SBA EIDL, we could maybe make it through the year - but servicing that debt ( which is NOT particularly low interest) will cripple us for years to come. (...) If we could get a bailout, a grant of our baseline costs for 2020 - or even a good chunk of them - we could easily hold on, and continue to grow the business. With inadequate and/or expensive loans, we may never catch back up. It is heartbreaking. We took a huge risk to go after a big dream, and have worked relentlessly for years to make a sustainable, regenerative, profitable business that benefits our community. (...) It is not easy to build a small business in New York State - regulatory burdens and expenses are heavy. We planned for every contingency we could think of. We didn’t plan for a badly mismanaged pandemic. It’s hard not to feel hopeless and betrayed."

— Business owner from New York

"More grants for small businesses and sole owners. Release unemployment funds to self-employed workers!"

— Business owner from Massachusetts

"We need to get a clear testing protocol in place. We need clear guidelines for wearing masks in public. We will need economical stimulus to make sure rent and payroll is getting paid. We need to make sure the supply chain is strong, which will rely on testing protocols."

— Business owner from Oregon