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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.

Go deeper

American Express to buy Kabbage

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

American Express on Monday announced an agreement to acquire online small-business lender Kabbage for an undisclosed amount.

Why it matters: Kabbage is one of the fintech companies that helped small businesses tap into the Paycheck Protection Program despite furloughing hundreds of workers at the beginning of the pandemic.

54 mins ago - World

In photos: Deadly Cyclone Tauktae leaves trail of destruction across India

A police officer helps a public transport driver cross a flooded street due to heavy rain caused by Tropical Cyclone Tauktae in Mumbai, India, on May 17. Photo: Ashish Vaishnav/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Tropical Cyclone Tauktae killed at least 16 people in India after making landfall in Gujarat Monday, packing 100mph winds, and sweeping across Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra, per Reuters.

The big picture: The storm unleashed heavy rains and winds as authorities continued to grapple with surging infection rates and deaths from COVID-19. Over 200,000 people were evacuated from Gujarat, and ports, airports and vaccination centers shut in the state and Mumbai, Reuters reports. Tauktae weakened from a Category 3 storm into a "severe cyclonic storm" Tuesday morning local time.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Yellen wants business to help foot infrastructure bill

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is heading into the belly of the beast Tuesday and asking the business community to support President Biden's $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan during a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Why it matters: By trying to persuade a skeptical and targeted audience, Yellen is signaling the president’s commitment to raising corporate taxes to pay for his plan. Republican senators, critical to a potential bipartisan deal, oppose any corporate tax increase.