The Research Center at the National Federation of Independent Business has released the findings of its latest survey. It analyzed the current impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on Indiana small businesses, and results indicate continued deterioration of the sector. The survey revealed that the severity of the outbreak, along with regulatory measures that cities and states are taking, are having a devastating impact on small businesses.
According to NFIB, 92% of small employers are negatively impacted by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, a continued increase from 76% of small employers reporting negative impacts 10 days earlier. About 3% are positively impacted.
The company says the positively impacted businesses are likely experiencing stronger sales due to a sharp rise in demand for certain products, goods, and services. The demand is expected to slow down in the coming weeks as consumers feel more secure about their personal supply levels.
“I know from speaking to Hoosier members that you are hungry for advice. Here’s the best advice I can offer to you today: If you are planning to file for funding, do so now,” says NFIB State Director in Indiana, Barbara Quandt.
The NFIB says there are some positive stories amid the outbreak. In Pittsboro, Fleece Performance Engineering has redeployed its engineers, and the business has converted some of its manufacturing space to produce disposable full face shields for healthcare professionals.
“As Americans in this critical time we must do what we can to adapt, innovate, and overcome the current pandemic,” said Brayden Fleece, president of Fleece Performance Engineering. “With the team and resources at our fingertips, this project was something we had the expertise to act quickly on and provide the immediate support needed by medical professionals nationwide.”
The survey found that almost all small employers are now impacted by economic disruptions related to COVID-19, and only 5% of small businesses are not currently affected by the outbreak. Of those businesses, the survey indicates that nearly half anticipate that changing if the outbreak spreads to, or spreads more broadly in, their immediate area over the next three months.
Among negatively impacted small employers, survey data shows 80% report slower sales, 31% are experiencing supply chain disruptions, and 23% report concerns over sick employees. About half of small employers say they can survive for no more than two months, and about one-third believe they can remain operational for 3-6 months.
The NFIB found that almost all small business owners are now taking some sort of action in response to the outbreak by adjusting to changing economic conditions or protecting themselves from potential disruption. 5% of owners have not taken any action in response to the outbreak, a dramatic shift from the more than half (52%) not taking action three weeks ago.
The survey was conducted by email on March 30 with responses collected from 1,172 small business owners.
More information can be found by clicking here.