What does COVID-19 impact look like for small businesses and start-ups?

As people around the world continue to come to terms with these unprecedented times due to COVID-19, small businesses owners and start-up founders are facing new challenges. 

According to ChamberofCommerce.org, as of 2018 there are 30.2 million small businesses in the United States. The U.S. News notes that less than 20 percent of businesses are minority owned. 

Small businesses seeking financial assistance due to the pandemic can find help from local, private and federal agencies. As the pandemic continues, concerns regarding business stability and staffing increase. The U.S. Department of Labor has reported that over 30 million people have submitted claims for unemployment since the beginning of the pandemic.  

Financial Assistance for small businesses includes: 

The CARES Act

Through the Payback Protection the federal government is providing assistance to small businesses to make payroll and hire back employees that may have been laid off. 

Atlanta Downtown 

Atlanta offers several resources for funding assistance due to COVID-19. Funding ranges from grants to loans.

Austin Texas Government

The City of Austin is offering small businesses up to $2 million dollars in disaster assistance.  

While small businesses continue to grapple with the economic impact of the “new normal”, day-to-day operations and logistics have required immediate innovations to stay afloat. 

WeWork, a prominent workspace with over 70 locations nationwide, has faced some complications with their small business clients. With the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation for social distancing, many communal workspaces have seen a decrease in their patronage. 

Modern technology has truly been put to the test due to the pandemic, and small businesses are increasing their internet usage as a utility. Remote and telework has become a part of our work routine, increasing our operation of platforms like Zoom or Google Meet to hold meetings, discussions and other required forums. Networking events and conferences have been cancelled or hosted virtually for the foreseeable future. 

Large scale events like South by Southwest (SXSW) were cancelled due to COVID-19. This conference is known for leveraging not only great economic gains for the City of Austin but resources for small businesses owners, founders, and creatives alike.

Looking at some corporate level businesses for guidance, Facebook has cancelled all large scale events until 2021 and will have employees working from home through the summer. 

While there are still growing concerns across the nation about the health and economic welfare of the country,we can only look towards tomorrow for hope, and stay attentive.