Data: JPMorgan Chase Institute; Chart: Axios Visuals

Small businesses are powerful engines of local economies, and they've been hit hard since the onset of COVID-19, according to a JPMorgan Chase Institute analysis of nearly 1.3 million de-identified small firms nationwide.

Why it matters: Cash balances provide liquidity that businesses need to get through a financial shock.

By the numbers: Overall, typical small business cash balances dropped 12.7% after the onset of COVID-19 and declined in every city and across industries.

  • During the second half of April, some balances rebounded, likely due to CARES Act stimulus payments and declines in expenses. But revenues still lagged.
  • By the end of March, the typical small firm saw revenues 50% less than the same period in 2019.

The steep drops seen in Las Vegas, Orlando and New York may be partly due to the sudden disappearance of tourists. In Atlanta, small businesses were already 10% lower than in 2019 before the national emergency declaration.

  • Small businesses in Seattle, Indianapolis, Denver, Phoenix and Chicago saw smaller-than-average cash balance declines.

There are striking disparities: Cash balances for Black-owned firms decreased by 26%, compared to 10% declines for white-owned businesses.

  • Revenues of Asian American-owned firms declined by more than 60%, possibly due to discrimination as well as the concentration in hard-hit industries such as restaurants and personal services.

Go deeper: Small businesses face post-lockdown cash crunch

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The shape of our recovery

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

It's not a U, it's not an L, and it's definitely not an I. America's economic recovery from the coronavirus shutdown has already started. In economists' shorthand, that means it's a V (a sharp rebound), a W (a nasty double-dip), or, most likely, something in between.

Why it matters: The shape of the recovery will directly affect the future of millions of unemployed Americans. It will also determine whether small business owners, in particular, will be able to restart their entrepreneurial careers after being forced to shut down during the pandemic.

Why discrimination persists in the workplace

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Despite laws protecting people from workplace discrimination on the basis of race, gender, age, religion and sexual orientation — including last week's Supreme Court victory for LGBTQ workers — when it comes to actually holding firms accountable, the odds are stacked against workers.

Why it matters: The U.S. workplace is still rampant with discrimination, but the bulk of it is going unchecked as companies have figured out how to keep themselves out of court.

Updated 3 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

India has reported more coronavirus cases than any other country besides the U.S. and Brazil, per Johns Hopkins data.

By the numbers: More than 539,000 people have died from the virus and more than 11.6 million have tested positive worldwide. More than 6.3 million patients have recovered.