Small Businesses Need Re-opening to Survive, National Study By America’s SBDC and Thryv, Inc. Shows


Washington, D.C. - Wave 5 of a national study shows that forty-nine percent of U.S. small businesses say they could only survive one to two more months if they are not allowed to reopen in early May and 76 percent say they are likely to reopen early in May. Another 22 percent said they could survive three to four months.

More than half of small businesses, or 58 percent of those asked, said they had applied for an SBA loan. Among those that have not yet applied, 54 percent said they would apply in the next one to two weeks.

But more than half (57 percent) of small businesses have experienced issues when applying for SBA loans. And the vast majority of those that applied for an SBA loan (80 percent) say they do not know when they will receive the funds. A few (5 percent) said they have received the money.

“SMBs are trying to manage through the pandemic and survive,” said Gordon Henry, Chief Strategy Officer at Thryv®. “Getting the federal assistance they have applied for is essential.

“Our study shows that 60 percent know their application for a federal loan is in process and 21 percent know their application has been approved, but only 5 percent have actually received the federal funds.”

The study of small businesses by Thryv Inc. and America’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), a resource partner of the Small Business Administration (SBA), was conducted April 17 - 19, and was a follow-up to Waves 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the study conducted the prior weeks.

In addition, 25 percent of small businesses said their employees were still working. Another 40 percent said they would bring back all of their employees and 12 percent said they would bring back three-quarters of their employees, the newest questions to the study revealed.

The latest wave of the study further found no change in the number that were likely to recover completely one year from now—21 percent indicated they would be fully recovered one year from now in Wave 5.

The number that said they would not survive has varied from 3 percent to 10 percent in Waves 2 through 4. In Wave 5, 7 percent said they would not be in business one year from now.

“What the data makes clear is that either the government needs to provide more help, or figure out how to help small businesses reopen,” said Charles “Tee” Rowe, president and CEO at America’s SBDC. “The current backlog and demand for SBA loans points to the desperate needs in the small business community, but there is a bright spot – 25 percent of small business are still open. America’s SBDCs want to help them stay open and help their colleagues reopen.”

These are just a few data points from the joint longitudinal study by Thryv, Inc. — a SaaS and marketing solutions company with over 350,000 small business clients nationwide — and America’s SBDC conducted among small businesses across the country this past weekend. The research supports the integral role small businesses play and the value they bring to the economy. Both America’s SBDC and Thryv Inc. have a long history of working with small businesses.

The study was conducted on April 17 through April 19 among small businesses, with a margin of error +/- 5.1 percent. Thryv and America’s SBDC will continue to gather data from SMBs over the next four to eight weeks.

For full study results, email alan.traverse@thryv.com.

About America’s SBDC Program: America's SBDC (Small Business Development Center) Network is a partnership uniting private enterprise, government, higher education and local nonprofit economic development organizations. It is the Small Business Administration's largest partnership program, providing management and technical assistance to help Americans start, run and grow their own businesses. Learn more at www.americassbdc.org.

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