Hard-hit for small businesses During the Pandemic

by Jan Frazier

Washington, D.C. (Washington Insider Magazine)  Owning a small business at any time can be frightful, but it was especially problematic during the pandemic. During this past year, “small business owners pivoted to move their businesses online, launched pandemic-friendly products, and fought to keep their employees on the payroll.”

Even though small businesses felt at a risk at times during the pandemic, amazingly “nearly half a million Americans found a way to open new businesses.”

There are still challenges for small businesses even though the pandemic is now on a downward slide. According to the Wells Fargo Q4 Business Index Survey, up to 60 percent of small businesses don’t actually expect to recover from the chaos of the pandemic until the last half of 2021 or possibly even later.

Recently, the White House and Congress “have worked expeditiously to identify and fund practical solutions, including committing additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and reconfiguring the program to ensure that Community Financial Development Institutions (CDFI), sole proprietors and diverse small business owners have more opportunities to apply for the funding.”

It has been a monumental step for the federal government to help the small businesses, and it is hoped that the government and lawmakers will continue to find ways to support the small businesses in the upcoming months.

In the private sector of businesses, nonprofit organizations, as well as community leaders, have made an attempt to help small businesses to stay open as well as keep employees on the payroll. During this past year, “philanthropic funding from corporate donors has helped these nonprofits deploy assistance to small businesses in the form of emergency relief and low-cost loans.”

During the month of July 2020, Wells Fargo started an Open for Business Fund which gave nearly $420 million to help small businesses. The Open for Business Fund’s “projections show the effort is expected to shield 66,000 jobs” from the effects of the pandemic through spring 2021.

SOURCE

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