U.S. Census Survey Shows Majority of Detroit Region’s Small Businesses Largely Impacted by COVID-19

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This survey was taken by small business owners. A subset of the 2017 Economic Census respondents, approximately 1.7 million of the over 6 million single-establishment employer businesses, received an invitation to respond to this Small Business Pulse Survey. About 1.1 million of the 1.7 million Economic Census cases had between 1 and 499 employees. Learn more about this survey’s methodology on the U.S. Census Bureau website. 

The Small Business Pulse Survey, a weekly experimental data product from the U.S. Census Bureau, has released the fifth week of results showing the effects of COVID-19 on the nation’s small businesses. Roughly 42.9% of respondents stated the crisis is having a large negative effect on their business. Industries reporting the greatest share of large negative effects include food and accommodation, arts and recreation, and education.

The fifth week of a nine-week survey shows COVID-19 is hitting Michigan the hardest, with 56% of respondents saying the virus had a large negative effect on their small business. The Detroit metropolitan statistical area (MSA) shows a slightly larger impact, with 59% of respondents saying the virus had a large negative effect on their business. In Michigan, 55% report decreased revenues, while 39% have implemented temporary closures and 34% are cutting employees’ hours.

According to the U.S. Census survey, Detroit MSA ranks third out of the top 50 MSA to be the hardest hit, with 58.7% of respondents saying the COVID-19 pandemic had a large negative effect on their business. In the last week, Detroit MSA’s small businesses reported 55% decreased revenues, 39% have had temporary closures, and 33% decreased the total number of hours worked by paid employees. Overall, 47% of Detroit MSA small businesses believe their operations will take more than six months to return to its normal level relative to one year ago.

The U.S. Census Bureau is sending the survey to roughly 885,000 non-farm, single location businesses with fewer than 500 employees and receipts of $1,000 or more. The fifth week of data was collected May 24 to May 30. The Small Business Pulse Survey includes information on location closings, changes in employment, disruptions in the supply chain, the use of federal assistance programs, and expectations concerning future operations.

National, state, and regional data visualizations of the survey results can be found on the U.S. Census Bureau website.


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