52% of American small businesses expect to close within six months because of coronavirus

Government responses to the coronavirus pandemic could cost the United States the majority of its small businesses.

A new survey from the Society For Human Resource Management found that 52% of American small businesses expect to be out of business within six months, according to Bloomberg News.

The survey of 375 firms was conducted between April 15-21 and doesn’t factor in improved business conditions that were announced since then.

“SHRM has tracked Covid-19’s impact on work, workers, and the workplace for months,” SHRM Chief Executive Officer Johnny Taylor Jr. said. “But these might be the most alarming findings to date. Small business is truly the backbone of our economy. So, when half say they’re worried about being wiped out, let’s remember: We’re talking about roughly 14 million businesses.”

The survey also found that over a third of small firms anticipate they can keep going after six months, while 14% aren’t sure.

Thirty million people have filed for unemployment since the coronavirus hit the U.S., and a recent study showed that roughly 30% of American small businesses were forced to close temporarily in the last couple of weeks.

The dire numbers come as people across the United States in places such as Michigan and California are taking to the streets to protest government lockdown measures and make the case to local officials that it’s time to reopen.

A study released this week suggested that anxiety and stress over lockdown measures, including job losses and business closings, will destroy 7 times more years of life than the current lockdowns will save.

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