Small Business Pulse

 The US Census Bureau produces a Weekly Pulse Newsletter that offers a perspective on the state of small businesses in the US.  This survey was developed to gauge the business impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US (with some exceptions such as agricultural businesses).  You can subscribe to the Census Bureau surveys - of which there are many - and receive them in your inbox.

This stage in the pandemic, when we are focused on returning to "normal",  is an interesting time to take the temperature of how we've borne it. Here are the highlights from their emailed newsletter.

You can see periodic pulse reports here.

Weekly Pulse Newsletter

The U.S. Census Bureau is in a unique position to produce data on the social and economic effects of COVID-19 on American households and small businesses. 

Small Business Pulse Survey Updates

A retail worker wearing a face mask holds up a sign to indicate that her clothing store is open during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Based on responses collected May 24 through May 30, the Small Business Pulse Survey estimates that:

  • 23.0% of U.S. small businesses experienced little or no effect from the Coronavirus pandemic. For responses collected 5/3/20 – 5/9/20, this statistic was 9.0%

A graph showing how businesses have been affected overall by the Coronavirus pandemic in early May 2021 and comparing it to a week in May 2020.

  • 28.9% of U.S. small businesses have requested PPP loan forgiveness since December 27. For responses collected 5/17 – 5/23, this statistic was 28.0%
  • 18.4% of U.S. small businesses have returned to normal levels of operations
  • 21.2% of Puerto Rico small businesses require employees to have proof of COVID-19 vaccination before physically coming into work. The national average for this statistic is 4.1%
  • 6.7% of U.S. arts, entertainment, and recreation small businesses requested assistance from the Shuttered Venue Operators Grants
  • The Expected Recovery Index, which summarizes the length of the expected recovery of businesses, increased to -0.47, indicating shorter expected recoveries

A graph showing the Expected Recovery Index, which summarizes the length of the expected recovery of businesses.

Source: US Census Bureau

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