Developing Rapid-Response Plans for Cities to Help Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses in this Time of Economic Crisis

4 May 2020

As the extent and impact of COVID-19 becomes more apparent, entrepreneurs and small businesses are on the front lines of its devastating impact–and with their demise comes potentially catastrophic economic losses for local communities. According to JP Morgan Institute, 50 percent of small businesses have less than 30 days of cash on hand. With 50 percent of Americans working for or owning a small business, the failure of our small business economy could have a widespread and long-standing impact on our unemployment rates and put even greater financial stress on families who are already on the financial brink. This is particularly true of Main Street businesses and families in under-connected and under-resourced communities.

During the Great Recession, business failures rose faster than business starts and startup rates fell to a record low. In the ensuing years, entrepreneurship in America struggled to recover. As the Economic Innovation Group states, “the startup-less recovery revealed one of the glaring failures of the response to the Great Recession.” With new businesses contributing significantly to net new job creation, we cannot afford to make this mistake again.

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