Facebook has released a survey report that highlights the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic on small and medium-sized business (SMB) across the US. According to the report, of the SMBs that have been forced to shut down due to coronavirus pandemic, more than half of owners surveyed by the company said they will not rehire the same workers they had before the crisis. It was also added that SMBs run by women are more severely impacted. The report states that some owners are also looking at ways to digitise their business to ensure their survival.

What did the Facebook survey find?

Facebook in the survey report said that the company surveyed 86,000 small and medium-sized business owners, managers and employees for an ongoing data initiative with the World Bank and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. This figure also includes personal business enterprisers who are essentially self-employed and do not identify themselves as owners or managers. The is the first report of the ongoing series, the company said.

The Facebook survey found that 31 percent of SMBs across the US were not operating due to the coronavirus pandemic. The company claimed that this number rises when it comes to personal businesses (52 percent) of which the majority (55 percent) are led by women. 55 percent of SMB owners also said that they won’t rehire employees who were forced to let go or furloughed during the pandemic. Whereas 68 percent of personal businesses claim that they won’t hire rehire old workers.

The report also reveals that many owners fear that the next challenge for SMBs in the coming months will be the cash flow and lack of demand. However, of the SMBs that are still operating in the US, 36 percent of small companies are using online tools to conduct online sales. Additionally, 35 percent of businesses have changed operations and are taking digital payment, the report indicated.

Similarly, employees across these SMBs were also surveyed where it was found that 74 percent of employees do not have access to paid sick leave and 70 percent said they did not have paid time off. Those numbers were over 90 percent for hotel, café, and restaurant employees surveyed.

How was the survey conducted?

Facebook explained that the survey was added to the social media platform in April where random users who claim to be owners or managers of a small business were surveyed. These businesses operate with fewer than 500 full-time employees.

“For this survey, we sent out a total of 1.9 million invitations. In total, we surveyed approximately 86,000 people. Ultimately we were left with 38,078 total surveyed business owners and managers nationwide, 39,104 business employees, and 8,694 operators of personal enterprises based upon their self-reported work status,” Facebook said.


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