Tracking US small and medium-sized business sentiment during COVID-19

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US small businesses continue to report uncertainty about the future as the coronavirus pandemic continues, although overall sentiment appears to be plateauing in recent weeks. Small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) account for roughly 48 percent of the US economy and provide employment to about 60 million people in the United States. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause human suffering on a global scale, an increasing number of US SMBs fear that the economic impact will also lead to a reduction in revenues and are uncertain about the future.

Sustained impact from the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a continued decline in optimism for a rapid US economic recovery among SMBs. Businesses with less than $5 million in revenues and those that rely on retail foot traffic have been disproportionately affected. As the pandemic continues to unfold, we will track sentiment among SMBs to gauge how their views on economic activity, employment, and financial behavior—as well as their expectations about financial institutions and public authorities—change as a result of ongoing public and private interventions.

The exhibits below are based on data from four sets of surveys—March 26 to March 31, April 10 to April 15, April 24 to April 29, and May 8 to May 13—among US businesses with less than $500 million in annual revenues. This update includes SMBs’ views on the biggest challenges they are facing as well as where they are reducing spending. Please check for updates as we continue to monitor SMB sentiment.

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