Firms led by women were on average 6 percentage points more likely to be closed in the pandemic. Just over half of 35,000 small businesses in 27 countries are confident that they can continue operating for at least another 6 months if current circumstances persist. A similar proportion say they do not plan to re-hire laid-off or furloughed staff in that time either. Businesses led by women are hardest hit by the pandemic.
Firms led by women were on average 6 percentage points more likely to be closed globally, Facebook´s Small Business Report says. The biggest gender gaps were in Europe and Latin America. In Portugal and Germany closure rates were 29 and 28 percentage points higher for women-led business respectively. There was a 14-point gap in Brazil and a 10-point gap in Argentina.
24% of all small business leaders reported in February that their businesses were closed, up from 16% in October and close to the 29% the peak of 29% last May. The sharpest increases were in Europe. Those that are still open continue to cope with lower sales, and 30% have had to reduce their workforces, the report said.
”It has also been clear since the early days of the pandemic that Black, Asian-American, and Hispanic businesses have been hit harder than most. In the US, more than half of minority-led businesses reported a drop in sales compared to the previous years – 6 percentage points higher than other small businesses.
A positive development is that many businesses were successful online. More than half said they used digital tools to communicate with customers, and those reporting higher shares of digital sales were also more likely to have reported more robust sales overall.