(UnitedVoice.com) – Last spring, small business owners pleaded with governors not to destroy the businesses they invested with so much time, sweat, tears, blood, and money. Their pleas went unheard as their larger competitors and big-box retailers were allowed to stay open during the worst part of the COVID-19 pandemic. The federal government provided small business loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Still, many small businesses didn’t apply for one reason or another or didn’t get enough money to sustain them through the pandemic.
Almost a year later, small businesses are still struggling to hold even as one expert offers a promising prediction. In a recent Wall Street Journal Op Ed, Dr. Makary, a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health, claims the COVID-19 pandemic could reach herd immunity as early as April.
Unfortunately, the pandemic didn’t cause the crisis hitting small businesses. Democratic governors across America inflicted it.
Millions of Small Businesses at Risk
By definition, a small business is an independent business with fewer than 500 employees. In 2010, there were nearly 28 million of them in the United States. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses account for 99.7% of all employers in the US, and nearly 50% of all private-sector employment comes from the small business community. They are also the largest creators of new jobs.
Thanks to governors who refused to heed the warnings about their decisions, millions of small business owners could face the consequences. Some haven’t collected a cent of revenue in nearly a year. Others aren’t able to make enough to stay afloat much longer.
According to Harvard’s Small Business Tracker, small business revenue dropped 33% from January 2020 to February 25, 2021. During the height of the pandemic, revenues dropped at least 50%. During the same period, the number of new small businesses open decreased by 34%. Now, small business group Alignable says 44% of the companies still open face failure by April 1. That’s 31.7 million businesses with employees whose livelihoods could be lost forever.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported that the 2020 economy shrank 3.5% compared to a 2.2% increase in 2019. It was the worst performance since the 1940s. Those hit the hardest by Democratic governors’ orders included retailers, restaurants, gyms, beauty salons, and the travel industry.
If it’s true that the light is at the end of the tunnel, let’s hope the majority of businesses can hold on. If not, America’s economy could be in for a shock this summer.
Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst
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