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An Update on COVID-19 and its Impact on Small Business

There have been 1.18 million cases and 68,276 deaths as of May 3rd in the United States of America from The Coronavirus disease. To slow the spread across our nation, 311 million people are being ordered and greatly urged by the government to stay at home.

While public health is a top priority, the measures to fight the virus are coming to a steep cost for the world, as much of the economy has come to a halt. As more states are advocating the stay at home order, a record 3.8 million Americans have filed for unemployment.

The unemployment rate has jumped from an all-time low of 3.5% to some experts say as high as 13%. While every American is feeling the effects to some degree, certain industries could be feeling the greatest effects. These businesses include, hospitality, leisure, travel services, transportation, and oil and gas exchange. Some of these businesses are key pillars to the success of the country.

Hot Spots

Many now will deem New York as the epicenter for the Coronavirus disease. This is because the enormous amounts of cases in a concentrated area. As of April 6, there were over 10,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Manhattan alone.

While no city equivalent to the size of Manhattan has been affected this significantly by the virus, the share of workers in industries at greatest risk of slowdown due to the pandemic and containment efforts is relatively low in Manhattan. The city has only slightly higher than average employment in the leisure and hospitality and employment service industries. As of May 2, there are over 313,000 cases of Coronavirus in New York City. Almost 19,000 of those have been fatal.

The economy of Wilson County, Tennessee will be more exposed to devastation by the virus than any other county in the Nashville area. According to research by credit agency rating agency Moody’s, the transportation, leisure and hospitality industries are at greater risk of decreased demand, shutdowns and layoffs. Over 28% of the workers in Wilson County are employed in transportation, leisure and hospitality. As of May 3, there are 273 cases in Wilson County. Five of those cases being fatal.

Small Business relief

Steps were taken to ensure that small community lenders, those with under one billion in assets and their small business customers, would have access to the $310 billion program. The loans are a part of the government’s $2 trillion relief Coronavirus package. These are aimed to help businesses hit hard by the virus to be able to retain or rehire their workers who were laid off. Thousands of businesses have been forced to shut down to contain the spread of the virus or have lost business as customers are staying home or cutting their spending money.

The Paycheck Protection Program also known as PPP, is a ‘Forgivable loan’ program designed to help rescue small business during this chaotic time. In a stimulus bill, Congress approved an additional $322 billion in PPP funds as like the first round, the money ran out quickly. Fortunately, $60 billion of the new funds will be explicitly protected so it can reach smaller businesses served by community financial institutions, rather than large banks. On April 7, four days after PPP had launched, many banks did not have applications available and most small businesses had not even heard of the program yet.

Loan Breakdown as of April 13:

–          Loans less than 150,000: 14.9%

–          Loans of 150,000-350,000: 14.4%

–          Loans of 350,000-1 million: 23.9%

–          Loans of 1 million-2 million: 17.5%

–          Loans of 2 million- 5 million: 19.87%

–          Loans of 5 million- over 22.77 billion: 9%

For many small businesses, their paychecks are not the issue. It is the rent, utilities, inventory, equipment, marketing and much more that keeps the business going. So, what exactly would a small business survival plan look like?

Sources:

1.      https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/04/09/coronavirus-30-places-where-recession-could-hit-hardest/2964955001/

2.      https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2020/04/29/coronavirus-relief-small-businesses-go-head-loan-line-bit/3053999001/

3.      https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/usaandmain/2020/04/21/congress-ppp-small-business-survival/2999703001/

4.      https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html

5.      https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/30/economy/unemployment-benefits-coronavirus/index.html