More than four-fifths of small U.S. businesses expect the coronavirus pandemic to affect them for at least another 12 months, according to a survey from global payments network Veem.
The San Francisco-based firm found that of 690 U.S. small and mid-size businesses surveyed, 87% are taking action to prepare for the possibility of an economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus. Liquidity continues to be a “key pain point,” the survey showed, with 52% of respondents cutting operational costs and 59% applying for loans. Only 13% said they had not taken any measures to prepare for a slowdown, Veem reported.
More than half of companies plan to freeze hiring and another 23% are actively downsizing, while nearly 18% said they intend to increase staff support and training -—moves Veem CEO Marwan Forzley said point to the resiliency of small and mid-sized businesses.
“Despite all the uncertainty, they’re trying to make changes in their businesses, to … either benefit from the situation or repurpose their business so that they’re not as badly impacted,” Forzley told Reuters.