To mark National Small Business Week, Facebook released a report showing how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted small businesses.
“Global State of Small Business Report” is based on insights from more than 35,000 small business leaders who participated in a survey in July and August.
The survey found fewer businesses are closing now than earlier this year, and more than a quarter of those polled are reporting higher sales in the past 30 days compared to a year ago. Still, more than half (52%) of businesses said sales were still lower than they were before the pandemic.
Florida businesses are faring a little better, according to Facebook’s data.
Survey results from businesses in the state found that 40% are reporting higher compared to the same month last year. In Facebook’s previous survey, conducted in February, just 26% of businesses said their sales were up year-over-year.
On the other side of the measure, 36% of businesses said their sales were lower in the past month than they were in the same month last year. In February, hald of businesses were reporting a year-over-year dip.
Additionally, 25% of Florida businesses that responded said they had reduced the size of their workforce as a direct result of the pandemic. That is down from 32% in February.
The data also shows that Florida’s small businesses are still facing some economic challenges, with 33% expecting cash flow challenges and 25% expecting a lack of demand or customers.
To help address one of the biggest challenges for small businesses – access to capital – Facebook announced two new initiatives.
The first is a program called “Facebook Invoice Fast Track” that will allow more than 35,000 small businesses to sell their invoices to Facebook for a low-fixed fee to access capital more quickly than is traditionally possible.
The program is an expansion of the Facebook Receivable Financing Program and will fund up to $100 million in invoices on an ongoing basis with a focus on minority and diverse-owned companies.
Facebook is also launching the “Small Business Funding Portal,” which will serve as a new small business funding resource to help underinvested business owners connect with responsible lenders, communities and access up-to-date news to help start, scale or manage their businesses.
“We know that minority-led businesses, even before the pandemic, faced greater structural challenges accessing credit and capital. To help address this issue, we’re announcing these new tools and resources to help small businesses, including new ways for diverse businesses to more easily access capital,”said Diana Doukas, Manager for Economic Impact for U.S. Policy Programs at Facebook.
“Through Facebook Invoice Fast Track Program and our small business funding portal, we’re providing small businesses new tools to help them manage their finances during this uncertain time.”