How COVID-19 has Affected the Small Businesses? Facebook Report Revealed the Truth

Small businesses are the most affected sector of the sector due to COVID-19. Small to medium businesses (SMBs) usually do not have safety nets to rely on like large corporations and often dependent on tight margins. Therefore, it is expected that 7.5 million small businesses in America might shut down permanently in the coming few months if they are unable to operate regularly and recover their costs.

Facebook recently released a report based on a response from around 86,000 people, who either own, manage or work for SMBs. It also included data from 9,000 self-employed personals, who operate personal businesses, providing goods or services.

The report sheds light on the insights of small and medium-sized businesses while also pointing out different areas where opportunities are growing.

It showed the percentage of SMBs of various sectors that are affected and unable to operate due to the on-going pandemic and the lockdown. As many businesses found alternate ways to operate like work from home or focus on delivering online, it is difficult to access the actual impact of lockdown.

According to the report, the most effected are the personal businesses as 52% shut down, followed by 43% cafes and restaurants shutting down along with 41% of the grooming, fitness, and other services closing during the pandemic. Whereas, 31% of the small and medium-sized businesses closed completely in the last three months.

Many businesses had to go into forced hibernation and in the last six weeks, approximately 36 million people have been unemployed in the US.

Now the question arises how many businesses are expected to bounce back and recover after the lockdown ends?

It is not easy to estimate how things will get back on the track, as the longer the lockdown situation prevails, the more critical the economic condition is expected. However, many of the SMBs are positive about their future.

There is much uncertainty in the situation right now and the majority of the people are hoping for the economy to get back on track and expect a decrease in the unemployment rate. A very small amount of segment is expecting a point of no return in terms of businesses growing again any time soon.

Even the businesses that are currently running have faced set back in revenue generation. Growth plans have not been as effective as expected but owners are optimistic about the future.

Several businesses have been shifting towards online opportunities and digital payments, which is an advancement towards the next generation consumers.

People who have been shopping online during the COVID-19 might become accustomed to it, providing the already online businesses to build a stronger connection with consumers and prepare themselves for the next generation of consumers.

In 2019, the e-commerce retails sales from the e-commerce sector were only 16% in the US and the figure is increasing and expected to continue growing.

Not only the retail sector, but the COVID-19 has also prompted other businesses to explore the digital world and find online ways to continue their operations, where people are spending most of their time in the current situation. SBMs are also given a chance to explore new markets through online opportunities though initially, it might not be a smooth journey.

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