Facebook survey details coronavirus small business devastation

The Fanelli store is seen closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic on April 20, 2020 in New York.

Eduardo Munoz | Press VIEW | Getty Images

Among the small and medium businesses that were forced to close during the coronavirus pandemic, more than half of the owners surveyed by Facebook said they would not hire the same workers as they did before the crisis.

In one report Facebook published on Monday said it had interviewed 86,000 owners, managers and employees of small and medium-sized businesses for an ongoing data initiative with the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The report highlights the lasting economic impact of the coronavirus and the particularly dire effect it has on small businesses without the same level of access to capital that large businesses often have.

According to the report, only 45% of owners and managers of small and medium-sized businesses polled by Facebook said they would re-hire the same workers they would have been forced to leave or leave once they reopened. If this estimate is true for similar companies across the country, it could devastate expectations of a rapid economic recovery after the crisis.

About a third of the private businesses surveyed said they did not expect to reopen, and many cited an inability to pay their bills or rent.

The report also revealed the large gap in sick leave and paid leave for employees of small and medium-sized businesses. Of the employees surveyed, 74% said they did not have access to paid sick leave and 70% said they did not have paid leave. These figures exceeded 90% for the employees of the hotels, cafes and restaurants questioned.

Facebook, which counts small and medium-sized business owners as a large cohort for its digital advertising activities, said that more than half of those polled are increasingly interacting with customers online. Over a third of the companies surveyed said they now do all of their sales online.

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