Small businesses say worst of pandemic yet to come: survey

FORT SMITH, Ark – A significant majority of small businesses say they think that the worst of the pandemic is yet to come, according to a survey by the Chamber of Commerce and MetLife.

According to the survey, 62 percent of small business owners said they thought more difficult times were ahead, expressing concerns about the economy, the fate of their businesses, and their mental health.

“The impact of coronavirus continues to take a devastating toll on America’s small businesses,” said Neil Bradley, executive vice president and chief policy officer at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“In fact, half of them say they can operate for a year or less before closing permanently.”

The survey found that minority business owners reported they were more concerned, with 41 percent expressing high levels of concern about the pandemic’s effect on their business, as compared to 31 percent of nonminority owners.

Seventy-four percent of the small business respondents said that they would need more federal relief to succeed in 2021.

That sentiment comes as Congressional continue their long battle over a fifth COVID-19 relief bill, which could inject more than $900 billion into the economy and offer a lifeline to struggling businesses in the form of forgivable loans.

The fate of the package remains unclear, though both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have pledged to get a deal before year’s end.

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