Survey says COVID-19 shutdowns nearly shuttered one in five small businesses

It’s no secret that shutdowns from the COVID-19 pandemic were devastating to the economy, but a new survey shows just how bad they were for small businesses. 

The non-scientific survey of 1,000 small business owners, commissioned by GotPrint, shows that one in five nearly closed their doors for good because of the pandemic. Forty-six percent of those surveyed suffered decreased sales, 42% saw a drop-off in customers, and 37% saw their production drop. 

Two in five small business owners polled say they had to take a pay cut to keep the business afloat, and nearly all — four in five — say they’ve become more resourceful as a result of their difficulties. 

Nearly 60% said they had to wear multiple hats at their company to make up for the shortfalls, 46% say they had to cut their supply costs, and 42% downsized to a smaller space or worked from home to make ends meet with their bottom lines. 

The universal lesson all small business owners learned, the survey showed, was that they had to have a backup plan in case of emergencies. Thirty-one percent said they’re committed to learning new skills to keep the black ink flowing.

With lockdowns eased in most places, 58% say they’re still having a hard time staying in the black, and 69% say they feel overwhelmed — no shock, considering 84% are still doing multiple jobs themselves.