2020 was a challenging year for small businesses. Many closed their doors either temporarily or permanently, and many that stayed open struggled financially. Throughout the year, Facebook (an important IHCC partner), has listened to small businesses in the United States to find out how they are coping and what they need.
Today Facebook is publishing the latest U.S. State of Small Business report, which gives us a more comprehensive picture of the impact COVID-19 had in 2020.
For this latest report, Facebook surveyed more than 11,000 business leaders, 8,000 employees and 6,000 consumers between late November and late December.
The results reveal that:
- As of December 2020, fewer businesses were closed (25%) relative to April (31%), with some SMBs that were previously closed able to reopen in recent months, thereby helping to reduce the number of employees out of work due to business closures.
- In December, only 37% of closed businesses expected to reopen within 6 months, compared to 66% that expected to reopen in April. Moreover, fewer personal businesses expected to reopen in the next 6 months (30%) than the aggregate sample.
- We also know that majority-minority communities have been disproportionately impacted by the crisis. At the time of the December 2020 survey, SMBs in majority-minority neighborhoods were found to be disproportionately closed (36%) relative to businesses in non-minority neighborhoods (22%).
- 34% of businesses have increased their use of online or digital tools since the pandemic began. More female-led SMBs (37%) reported increasing their use of digital tools compared to male-led SMBs (30%).
More optimistically, the survey also paints a picture of resilience and creativity among American businesses. Many that closed earlier in the pandemic have been able to adapt and reopen, helping to reduce the number of employees out of work.
Facebook is in the business of small business. More than 200 million businesses use our apps every month to create virtual storefronts and reach customers – with millions using our tools to help them make the transition online since the start of the pandemic.
Whatever challenges they face in 2021 and beyond, Facebook will continue to do all we can to help them survive and, hopefully, thrive online.