Women and minority-led businesses are still more likely to be closed because of the pandemic than the global average. 20% of women-led businesses were closed globally, compared to 16% of those led by men. In the US, Hispanic-led businesses were the most likely to report being closed at 24%, a drop of two percentage points since February, according to Facebook’s new survey of the situation for small business
Minority-led businesses in the US were also more likely to report lower sales compared to the same period in the previous year, with 44% doing so compared to 29% of other small businesses.
“The pandemic has been devastating for small businesses everywhere. Many have closed for good, and many of those who remained open have seen sales slump and staff laid off. And it has hit businesses led by women and under-represented communities the hardest.”
The survey comprises more than 35 000 small business leaders, across 30 countries and territories, carried out this July and August. Closure rates are falling around the world in a majority of surveyed countries but there is still a long way to go and many of the inequalities and challenges persist.
Globally, 18% of small businesses said they were currently closed, down from 24% in February. In the US, both numbers were slightly lower, at 16% and 22% respectively.
Of businesses still operating globally, more reported reduced employment this time around, up from 30% in February to 36% in July.
Going online has increased during the pandemic, and it’s up again in this survey to 88% of all businesses compared to 81% in February.
60% of small businesses reported some form of difficulty in paying business-related expenses 26% said they were struggling to pay down loans or debt, bills (25%), rent (25%), and employee wages (24%).
Facebook announced it is expanding the its Invoice Fast Track program for US-based small businesses that can get cash immediately for the goods and services they’ve invoiced their customers. The company said it will be funding $100 million in invoices on an ongoing basis.