How is COVID-19 affecting small businesses?
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On March 13th, 2020 as Washington, DC and much of the rest of the country went into lockdown, the small business support District Bridges provides suddenly became an essential service needed to help businesses survive the impending crisis. In the months since, our dedicated staff have engaged in over 2,500 hours of direct technical assistance to the more than 900 small businesses we serve. In an effort to continue addressing our businesses most pressing needs, we surveyed them for information about the crisis’ effects. You can read the full report or see some takeaways below.
When comparing April-June 2020 and the same period in 2019, 35% of businesses reported losing 100%, 20% reported losing 75%, and 15% reported losing 50% – totalling 65% who reported losing over half their revenue due to the COVID-19 crisis. Those who saw less than 50% loss tended to be restaurants with existing take-out or delivery options.
A large component of a business’ viability during this time is their ability to pivot operations to comply with fast-changing policies and legislation. We found, however, that many businesses weren’t able to pivot operations due to lack of funding, lack of clarity on regulations, etc. Transitioning operations isn’t the only obstacle though, as several businesses were able to move online or to a delivery service, only to not see their customers return.
As the pandemic continues, District Bridges will work tirelessly to ensure that the business owners in our neighborhoods – Cleveland Park, Columbia Heights | Mount Pleasant, Logan Circle, Lower Georgia Avenue, and U Street – have the support they need to stay open.
Want to be a part of our efforts? Donate today.
Are you a small business owner looking for support? Contact us.