May 12, 2020 - Economy

Study projects over 100,000 small businesses have permanently closed

Closed signs

Photo: Mike Kemp/In PIctures via Getty Images

A new study by economists at the University of Illinois, Harvard Business School, Harvard University and the University of Chicago projects that more than 100,000 small businesses have permanently closed since the coronavirus pandemic was declared in March, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The mass devastation to small businesses comes despite efforts by the federal government to keep them afloat as large swathes of the economy have been forced to close as a result of the pandemic.

  • Congress has approved over $700 billion in relief funds for small businesses, and approximately 4.2 million have received loans from the Small Business Administration, per the Post.
  • Many small business owners have considered the Paycheck Protection Program as well, but worry about not being able to meet the staffing levels required by the law.

Details: The study projects that at least 2% of American small businesses are gone for good.

  • The damage has been especially severe for certain sectors like the restaurant industry, which has seen 3% of restaurants permanently go out of business, according to the National Restaurant Association.
  • 34% of small businesses are paying reduced rent or postponing payment, according to the Post.

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