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Data: Alignable; Chart: Axios Visuals

Small business owners and employees have been less sanguine about a delay in fiscal spending than stock traders.

Driving the news: A new survey from Alignable finds that many small businesses are growing more worried about "a severe cash crunch," with 42% saying they could collapse by the end of the fourth quarter.

  • Small business owners' top concern was that they would completely run out of financial reserves. 
  • 45% of all small businesses have earned 50% or less of their pre-pandemic revenue — eight months into the pandemic.
  • When asked what would help them the most right now, 35% said reducing the COVID-19 case levels to increase consumer confidence.

Heads up: Goldman Sachs economists estimate that winter weather will reduce total restaurant spending by 3%–4% and consumption by 0.2 percentage points.

  • This translates to a 0.3 percentage point hit to real GDP growth in Q4 and a 0.1 percentage point hit in Q1 next year, followed by a rebound as temperatures rise.

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Dec 23, 2020 - Politics & Policy

The record-breaking stimulus

Data: Axios Research; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The latest COVID-19 relief package is much smaller than most Democrats wanted, and is less than half the size of the CARES Act that was passed earlier this year.

Yes, but: Put the two together, and the amount of stimulus passed by Congress in 2020 would dwarf any previous U.S. government spending program — even the New Deal.

The Biden protection plan

Joe Biden announces his first run for the presidency in June 1987. Photo: Howard L. Sachs/CNP/Getty Images

The Joe Biden who became the 46th president on Wednesday isn't the same blabbermouth who failed in 1988 and 2008.

Why it matters: Biden now heeds guidance about staying on task with speeches and no longer worries a gaffe or two will cost him an election. His staff also limits the places where he speaks freely and off the cuff. This Biden protective bubble will only tighten in the months ahead, aides tell Axios.

Bush labels Clyburn the “savior” for Democrats

House Majority Whip James Clyburn takes a selfie Wednesday with former President George W. Bush. Photo: Patrick Semansky-Pool/Getty Images

Former President George W. Bush credited Rep. James Clyburn with being the "savior" of the Democratic Party, telling the South Carolinian at Wednesday's inauguration his endorsement allowed Joe Biden to win the party's presidential nomination.

Why it matters: The nation's last two-term Republican president also said Clyburn's nod allowed for the transfer of power, because he felt only Biden had the ability to unseat President Trump.

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