1 In 7 Michigan Small Businesses Unsure They Will Survive Pandemic: Survey

WWJ News
May 07, 2020 - 10:48 am
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(WWJ) With the coronavirus curve flattening in Michigan, some are anxious to get back to business. But not all businesses will come out of this pandemic intact. 

According to a new survey by the Small Business Association of Michigan, one in seven small businesses in the state — or 14% of Michigan small businesses — are not confident they will survive the COVID-19 crisis.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and closure orders have created such an uphill challenge for small businesses that one out of every seven in Michigan aren’t sure they’ll be able to recover,” said SBAM President Brian Calley. “Michigan small businesses are truly struggling to survive.”

The survey, conducted in late April of more than 1,3000 Michigan small businesses, also found that 60% of businesses have had to lay off at least one employee.

Additional results revealed:

  • Nearly 45% of small businesses are closed.
  • More than 50% of small businesses don’t have the ability for their employees to work from home.
  • 72% of surveyed businesses have applied for the Paycheck Protection Program, and 43 percent have applied for other loans or advances.
  • 56% of small businesses don’t believe they will be able to implement split shifts to limit exposure to the virus.
  • 35% of small businesses would need additional physical space to meet social distancing guidelines.
  • 44% of small businesses said they don’t qualify for classification as critical essential infrastructure.

“These are extremely difficult times for Michigan’s small businesses and the results of this survey confirm those facts,” said SBAM CEO Rob Fowler. “SBAM is doing everything we can to help small businesses get through these times so they can hopefully return to their place as the backbone of our economy.”

The Small Business Association of Michigan focuses on serving the needs of Michigan’s small business community through advocacy, collaboration and buying power, with 28,000 members in all 83 counties of Michigan. 

This comes as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is slowly allowing some businesses sectors to reopen under the 'MI Safe Start' plan. The governor is being sued, however, by Republican legislators who want input on what will open and when. Meanwhile, the state of emergency order in Michigan, which orders some types of businesses to stay closed, remains in effect until May 28. The stay-home order is set to expire May 15.