Vice President of Small Business Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
As the largest business advocacy organization in the world, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s membership consists mainly of small businesses and it is those Main Street employers who have been disproportionately hit by the economic hardships of COVID-19.
To make matters worse, segments of the small business sector, such as Black- and women-owned businesses, have fared worse than others. Data from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with MetLife, shows that minority business owners are more likely than non-minority owners to have difficulty obtaining loans, express fears about permanently closing, and predict declining revenues in the coming year. The poll finds that 66 percent of minority small businesses are concerned about having to permanently close their business versus 57 percent for non-minority small businesses.
Another U.S. Chamber poll shows that female-owned small businesses are more likely than male-owned small businesses to report a significant decline in the overall health of their business since the start of the pandemic.
Before the pandemic began, 67 percent of male-owned businesses ranked the overall health of their business as “somewhat or very good,” compared to 60 percent of female-owned businesses. In July 2020, that number had fallen 13 points (47 percent) for female-owned businesses, while the number of male business owners reporting “somewhat or very good” health had a small shift of only 5 points.
We know small business owners across America are fighting to keep their dreams alive and their workers employed, and the U.S. Chamber is fully committed to helping Main Street recover and its businesses succeed.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Top 5 small business resources
- Save Small Business Initiative: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched an online aggregate of the federal, state, and local resources — as well as private sector programs — to help provide the assistance and guidance small businesses need right now. The site also includes ways for community members and larger companies to get involved in saving small business.
- Reopening and Returning to Work Guidance: As America’s businesses look to reopen safely and keep employees and customers healthy and informed, employers are facing countless new questions and unprecedented challenges. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has compiled resources, including state-specific and sector-specific guidance, to help businesses reopen safely and successfully. The reopening guides are available in English and Spanish.
- CO— Coronavirus Small Business Hub: The U.S. Chamber’s small business community CO— has everything you need to help your business survive and grow as you adapt to the new world of running a small business in the age of COVID. Browse this community for articles and small business stories.
- On-demand Events: The CO—Big Week for Small Business three-day virtual event featured more than 14 breakout sessions, covering topics like remote workforces, social media marketing, navigating new technology, leading through crises, and other topics. Additional event series, like CO—Blueprint in partnership with Chase for Business, looks at the new business environment and strategies to drive success. Sessions are available to watch on-demand.
- Coalition to Back Black Businesses: This multi-year initiative was created to support Black small business owners and the communities they serve as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the coalition, founding partner American Express, Altice USA, and AIG, along with the National Black Chamber of Commerce, National Business League, U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., Walker’s Legacy, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, will work together over the next four years to provide $12 million in grants, training, and resources to empower Black-owned small businesses in distressed communities that have long been struggling with economic growth. Find the laCheck for the latest at webackblackbusinesses.com and learn more about the Chamber of Commerce’s Equality of Opportunity Initiative at uschamber.com/equality.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s combination of advocacy and information has proven to be enormously valuable for small businesses, yet there is more that needs to be done. We’ll never stop working to elevate the voice of small business owners, and fighting for policies and legislation that strengthen our economy and provide Main Street with the help and resources it needs.