Smaller employers have been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic, a new analysis shows. Fully a third of small and midsize businesses around the world had to slash jobs to survive the shrinking sales and broader economic shock caused by the public health health crisis.
And those are the lucky ones. More than a quarter of smaller businesses worldwide failed between January and May, according to the same survey, by Facebook, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Bank.
Researchers polled more than 30,000 business owners, managers and employees in more than 50 countries and regions.
Consumer-facing industries have especially struggled to forge ahead during government-enforced lockdowns across the globe. And female-led businesses were significantly more likely to close than those led by men, including in North America.
Small and midsize businesses run by women are “concentrated in the sectors that have been most impacted by COVID-19 lockdown measures and subsequent closures,” according to the survey.
Pandemic-related sales reductions, reported among 62% of businesses that have remained open, often led to the job cuts, according to the survey. Meanwhile, only 8% of small and midsize businesses said they plan to rehire staff or look for new workers when they are able to reopen.