The COVID-19 crisis has affected small businesses in the U.S. But the impact varies depending on the local mix of industries and the severity of lockdowns.
The national average of business closure due to the pandemic is 1.3%. But 3.8% of small companies in San Antonio and 4.2% in the San Jose had closed a location. Business owners that showed the highest level of anxiety were those in Austin, Texas, a hub of nightlife affected by social distancing rules.
In terms of debt, business owners in urban areas led by Pittsburgh reported the highest levels of debt stress. In New York, almost 20% of small firms had missed at least one scheduled payment. But it was in San Francisco where business owners were most pessimistic. The majority of them think things will never return to normal.
On the other hand, owners in southern cities including Jacksonville, Orlando, Indianapolis and Memphis were the most optimistic. Less than 5% of them said they changed to operations forever due to the pandemic. This figure is only 1.5% in Charlotte where small firms were the cheeriest.