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New Survey: As COVID-19 pandemic continues, declining sales is the biggest challenge facing Michigan’s small businesses

September 28, 2020

Nearly 80% of businesses report lost sales as a top concern with almost 1 in 5 expecting sales volumes cut by more than half

A new survey done last week by the Small Business Association of Michigan makes one thing perfectly clear: as the COVID-19 pandemic wears on, small businesses continue to suffer. For 79 percent of small businesses, lost sales volume is the biggest concern, with 73 percent of those surveyed anticipating a reduction in sales in the coming months. Nearly one in five small businesses are anticipating significant sales losses, with 17 percent indicating they expect sales to be down by more than half because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“At this point, we’re well into our sixth month of a global pandemic that has disrupted nearly every facet of daily life—it’s no surprise that’s weighing heavily on small businesses throughout the state,” said SBAM President Brian Calley. “However, the silver lining here is that despite these challenges, our small business community continues to demonstrate its resilience and adaptability. Businesses are absolutely prepared to protect the safety and health of both their customers and employees.”  

That bears out in the survey results, with 84 percent of small business owners indicating they have a COVID-preparedness and response plan in place.

The survey, conducted between September 15 and 24 of nearly 700 Michigan small businesses, also indicated that 1 in 10 businesses are not confident that they will survive the pandemic. Additionally, 72 percent of those surveyed received Paycheck Protection Program loans, with 19 percent indicating that they may have to reduce staffing without further funding.

“The fact of the matter is that small business owners are at risk of shuttering their doors before this is all over,” said SBAM CEO Rob Fowler. “That is not that surprising when you consider the challenges these businesses are working to overcome. This is why the federal government needs to give serious consideration to approving additional PPP funding for our hardest hit businesses—their struggles are dire and so are the consequences.”

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