Survey Confirms Small Businesses Need Congressional Support


December 18, 2020 | Survey Confirms Small Businesses Need Congressional Support |


Immediately following Thanksgiving and Small Business Saturday shopping promotions, Main Street America conducted a survey of over 1,000 small businesses to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our survey results indicate that, even with enthusiastic community support for shopping local, small business owners continue to suffer financially with the effects of the pandemic.

 Our findings indicate that: 

  • More than half of businesses (51%) had laid off or lost employees thus far in the pandemic.
  • 88% of small business owners were concerned about the risk of permanent closure if no federal financial relief is offered, with 29% reporting they won’t last beyond the next three months and 45% reporting they won’t last beyond the next six months without government relief.
  • 98% of small business owner respondents agreed that Congress must act as soon as possible to provide additional relief to small businesses.

In all, 1,137 business owners participated in the survey from December 2-13, with 1,033 completed surveys. Respondents represent 42 states and the District of Columbia. Approximately one-third operate in non-metro areas, and over two-thirds have majority women or minority ownership.

This data underscores the urgent need to give businesses a needed lifeline until restrictions ease and consumer confidence returns. Additional Congressional relief may be imminent, but your support is still needed to encourage legislators to finalize a package to help our Main Street businesses. We urge you to reach out to your Congressional representatives to pass immediate relief.


While the promise of approved vaccines offers a light at the end of the tunnel, the current surge of COVID cases and bleak outlook for our businesses is a reminder that recovery will be a long road. More information about this survey, and a related survey focused on Main Street programs, will be available in early January, along with maps and data for Main Street programs to explore state and local-level impacts.