Southern California Record

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Three-fourths of state's small business owners are struggling with COVID-19 impact; NFIB offers survival tips

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By Juliette Fairley | Mar 24, 2020

hand sanitizer amid COVID-19 fears | Pixabay

In just 10 days, the number of small businesses that are negatively impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19 has risen from nearly 25% to 76%, according to a new study.

A National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Research Center Coronavirus Poll of Small Business Owners found that only 5% are positively impacted.

"The number has spiked because so many small business owners are having to adjust themselves to be essential or non-essential and many are impacted by the ripple effect. Business to business relationships are suffering quite a bit," said John Kabateck, NFIB California state director. "The firms that are positively impacted are likely experiencing stronger sales due to a sharp rise in demand for certain products, goods, and services."

John Kabateck | NFIB

Of those businesses negatively impacted, 23% are experiencing supply chain disruptions, 54% slower sales and 9% sick employees, according to a press release.

"We are advising small businesses to take a breath, don't give up because this too shall pass, stay on top of the issues and remain creative, transformative as well as flexible," Kabateck told the Southern California Record.

Almost all small business owners are taking some sort of action adjusting to their changing economic condition or to protect themselves from potential disruption. Only 6% of owners have done nothing since the outbreak. 

NFIB is suggesting to the 15,000 independent and small businesses in California that it represents to take the following three actions immediately:

1. Don’t panic. "Talk to your workplace team and people within your industry to discuss how your business can innovatively provide services to the community and others during this time of need," said Kabateck.

2. Explore creative technologies. "If your business is among those that are non-essential, there may still be an ability to work from home as long as there's no contact with customers," Kabateck said. "Determine how your products and services can be sold online."

3. Be mindful and vigilant about listening to the news and staying in communication with employees and customers. "It would be wise to speak with attorneys or human resource experts to determine how to move forward," said Kabateck.

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