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What Comes Next for Small Business?

By Bruce Katz, Beth Bafford, Jamie Rubin, Michael Saadine and Colin Higgins 

Four months into the COVID-19 crisis, the outlook for the country’s small businesses is as murky as ever. COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the country, slowing and halting many states’ reopening plans. Even if we were as far along in combatting the virus in mid-July , small businesses’ path to recovery would be extraordinarily challenging. The fact we’re behind the ball makes the challenge even more pronounced. The civil unrest in response to the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, has increased the moral imperative to rebuild majority-black business districts, but has also increased the challenges they face. 


The country’s small business problems existed long before COVID hit. America has not been forming new business or increasing economic dynamism at a sufficient rate since the Great Recession. The most recent set of SBA data revealed disturbing trends in Black-owned small business: their share of all employer firms underrepresents the size of the Black population, they are smaller and have lower revenues, and they are highly concentrated in a few sectors. These issues have only been pronounced by the coronavirus crisis. 


​Read the report here:

What Comes Next for Small Business? [PDF]