Survey Reveals Small Business Concerns Around COVID-19 Impact

In a scant two weeks, COVID-19 has had a considerable impact on the way business is conducted. With uncertainty in the air, most businesses have shut down their offices and asked their employees to work from home. Meanwhile, the economy itself has taken a hard hit, and while the government worked to formulate and agree upon a fair stimulus package, businesses worried about maintaining their footing.

To gauge how COVID-19 is impacting small NYC businesses, the Partnership for New York City, in conjunction with GLG, conducted a survey of 147 business leaders at tech and startup companies with fewer than 100 employees.

Like the respondents in our survey of larger companies, the majority (81%) of small tech and startup executives said that “increased access to testing” is the most important government action. Unlike their large-scale counterparts, these execs issued a stronger call for financial assistance. Nearly 35% ranked “financial and unemployment relief” as the top action they want to see.

The survey, COVID-19 Impact: Small/Mid-size Tech Start-Up Businesses, was conducted between March 13 and March 18, before the president declared a national emergency in response to the COIVD-19 pandemic. Key findings include:

  • 95% of businesses had implemented work-from-home policies
  • 94% expect the crisis to moderately or significantly hit their industry’s revenue over the next six months
  • 23% have “some or high” confidence in the federal government’s management of the crisis – they depend more on state and civic authorities and the healthcare system itself

The survey also demonstrates the difference between executives of smaller companies and those of larger ones. More small businesses expect offices to be closed during the pandemic (44% vs. 17%) and a higher proportion of small businesses anticipate a significant negative impact on industry revenue (58% vs. 45%). What’s more, fewer small businesses are offering payroll coverage for those directly affected (79% vs. 60%).

Ultimately, most (60%) executives surveyed agreed with both public sentiment and public health leaders that “insufficient healthcare resources” could potentially have the most negative impact on events in this time of COVID-19.


GLG is supporting nonprofits on the frontline of COVID-19 relief, pro bono. If you represent or know of an organization that could use our help, let us know here. If you are a GLG council member whose expertise might be valuable to a relief organization, please get in touch here.

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