Small businesses are the backbone of America’s economy. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are 31.7 million U.S. small businesses which make up over 99% of all businesses. Approximately 90% have fewer than 20 employees and 80% percent have fewer than 10 employees. As COVID-19 spread around the world, an estimated one-third of American businesses closed their doors and shutdowns were enacted nationwide. It was not known how many businesses would be forced to close permanently because of the challenges they faced. Throughout the pandemic, small businesses have been disproportionately affected because of their inability to adapt as quickly as larger businesses.
While we may not know for several years the full extent the pandemic had on small businesses, a Federal Reserve released study estimates the pandemic resulted in less than 200,000 permanent closures of businesses.
While 200,000 business closures is significant, many experts believed pandemic-related closures would be far more devasting on small businesses and estimates of permanent closures were initially much higher. Many experts attribute government aid, such as the Paycheck Protection Program and additional funding for small businesses, as the factor for helping business owners keep their doors open and closure estimates lower than anticipated.
As we continue to navigate new variants, it’s clear that there are still many challenges facing the small community. From a shortage of workers, to inflation and supply chain challenges, businesses are still navigating pandemic-related challenges and will continue in the months, and years, to come.
During Small Business Month, we recognize the important contributions that small businesses provide our communities. We also recognize the hard work and dedication that it takes for these business owners to be successful and keep our workforce employed.
As a small business owner, I understand the challenges that other business leaders face, especially in today’s business climate, but successfully operating your own business is rewarding work, and young entrepreneurs should not be deterred from following their dreams. With a solid game plan, a group of mentors with business experience who you can turn to for advice and counsel, and the passion and drive to succeed, there are opportunities available for those who want to take advantage of them. America’s entrepreneurial spirit is one of our nation’s greatest assets and small businesses will continue to keep our economy strong.