State of Small Business Report

By Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer

A Look at How US Small Businesses and the People Behind Them Are Faring

Small businesses are the heartbeat of our communities – and they are facing the challenge of a lifetime. The pandemic isn’t just a public health emergency, it’s also an economic crisis. Since the first shelter-in-place orders, it has been clear that many businesses were going to take a big hit, but now we can hear from the people behind the businesses just how big a hit they are taking.

The State of Small Business Report, by Facebook and Small Business Roundtable, based on a survey of 86,000 owners, managers and workers in companies across the US with fewer than 500 employees, is a sobering snapshot of the struggle they are facing for survival. 

This report is the first of an ongoing series tracking the situation facing small businesses across the country. These were planned before the virus struck, when we had anticipated this first report would paint a much brighter picture. Instead, it brings home the scale of the crisis our economy is facing and helps point us to where help is needed most.

Nearly a third have shut down. For the smallest businesses – those run by the self-employed or for personal income – the situation is worse. More than half are no longer operating. That is especially bad for women, who run the majority of these businesses. 

Many that remain in operation face two big challenges: cash and customers. They’re worried about where money is going to come from, and whether there is still demand for their goods and services. And even when looking to when things are better, less than half of owners and managers said they would rehire their former employees. 

Still, business owners and managers are optimistic about their future. They’re resilient, finding new ways to reach their customers online, making adjustments to how and when they do business, and working hard to meet their family obligations at the same time. 

Facebook is in the business of small business. 160 million businesses use our apps every month – nearly one business for every 55 people on the planet, all using Facebook, Instagram, Messenger or WhatsApp to reach customers. Big brands use them, alongside coffee shops, barbershops and restaurants. And for every one of those 160 million there are people earning livelihoods and customers using products or services.  

That’s why Facebook has made $100 million available in grants to small businesses around the world, with $40 million reserved for those in the United States. We are also creating new ways for customers to support the local businesses they love with gift cards and fundraising tools, and making it easier for companies to find help, training and support through our Business Resource Hub.

Above all, we hope the optimism of small business owners is well-founded and look forward to reports in the future telling a story of recovery and better times to come. 

I want to thank everyone who took the time to fill out the survey. You made this report possible.


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