A Look at Connecticut Small Business Performance and Outlook During the Early Phases of the Pandemic

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A Look at Connecticut Small Business Performance and Outlook During the Early Phases of the Pandemic

The U.S. Census recently completed a 9-week Small Business Pulse Survey in order to get real time economic data from U.S. small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gathering data from businesses each week from April 26 to June 27, the Census has published the weekly responses by state and by industry sector for a variety of measures including the businesses’ assessment of the overall impact of the pandemic; change in revenue, employees and hours; requested, and received assistance status; and their outlook on future business performance.

So what did these Connecticut small businesses have to say?

At the beginning of the survey period, April 26 to May 2, more than half of respondents (55.7%) said the pandemic had a large negative effect on their business.  During the last week of the survey, June 21 to June 27, the number of businesses reporting a large negative effect had dropped to 39.3%, although still representing almost 4 out of 10 businesses.  Those expressing a moderate negative impact rose from 38.2% at the start to 40.7% at the end of the survey period.

While a considerably lower response rate, those reporting little or no effect rose from 4.9% to 13.9% and those reporting a moderate positive effect (a category not on the radar until May 17) rose from 3.4% to 4.8%.

The difference 2 months makes
When asked at the end of the survey period (June 21 to June 27) ‘How much time do you think will pass before this business returns to its normal level of operation as compared to the year before?’ 48% gave it more than 6 months. (10)

This compares negatively to the 32% responding more than 6 months during the April 26 to May 2 survey period, when more than half of the respondents thought it would take between 2-6 months. (9)

By the end of the survey period almost 3 out of 4 respondents had received funds from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and 1 out 4 had received an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) as compared to the 36% receiving a PPP and 11.5% receiving an EIDL for the survey week ending May 2. (7 & 8)

Some Silver Linings?
Those indicating there was little or no effect on operations over the prior year rose to 10.6% at the end of the survey period from 4.2% at the start. Similarly, those who did not think their business would return to levels of prior year dropped from 8.6% to 6.6%. (9 & 10)

For the full survey data and comparisons to that national sentiment visit https://www.census.gov/data/experimental-data-products/small-business-pulse-survey.html.  

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