It is increasingly clear that the economic impact of the pandemic hasn’t been felt evenly. Female-owned small businesses are closing at a higher rate than those run by men – and this gap has increased since the start of the pandemic, Facebook Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg writes in a summary of its US State of Small Business that the company made in cooperation with organization Small Business Roundtable.
”Businesses in minority communities are also closing at a higher rate than others and have seen a steeper drop in sales too”, the report says. The report is based on survey of 11 000 business leaders, 8 000 employees and 6 000 consumers between late November and late December.
”Closure rates were higher among female-led businesses (28%) compared to male-led businesses (22%). Although closure rates fell for both genders, the gap has increased slightly since April, when closure rates were 33% and 29% for female- and male-led businesses, respectively.”
”This gender gap was also much greater among personal businesses. In December, 42% of female-led personal businesses were closed, compared to 31% of male-led personal businesses. This gender divide in closures was driven to some extent by a greater representation of female business leaders in sectors with higher closure rates. For instance, only 2% of female-led businesses were in the sector with the lowest closure rates, transport, compared to 7% of male-led businesses.”
More optimistically in general, the report says many that closed earlier in the pandemic have been able to adapt and reopen, helping to reduce the number of employees out of work. And many have relied on the internet to do this, with more than a third of small businesses saying they have increased their use of digital tools during the pandemic.”