Survey: 71% of Small Business Owners Fear They Will Never Recover from Pandemic Losses

Despite the news that loan relief with extremely low interest is on the way, it’s unclear if it’ll be enough to save entrepreneurs hit hard by COVID-19. A new LendingTree survey of more than 1,200 small business owners found that 71% worry they’ll never recover from the downturn.

Business owners are holding on by a thread as more governors join the long list of states closing non-essential businesses. Nearly half of small business owners have temporarily closed their businesses, the survey found. They have also laid off workers or reduced their hours and sought funding, often unsuccessfully, to stay afloat.

Key findings

  • 71% of small business owners are worried their business will never recoup the losses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Business owners in the accommodation/food service and retail trade sectors are among the most likely to fear for their company’s future.
  • Nearly half — 47% — of small business owners surveyed have taken on debt to keep their business afloat during the pandemic. An additional 34% attempted to seek financing but were not approved.
  • Eight in 10 small business owners have “no idea” where to get emergency funding for their business right now.
  • 69% of small business owners do not have enough cash on hand to sustain their business for the next 90 days.

LendingTree conducted an online survey of 1,221 small business owners who had previously applied for funding through LendingTree’s small business lending database. Participants were emailed a link to participate in the survey, which was fielded using Qualtrics from March 24-30, 2020.

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