One-in-four small businesses at risk of closing doors, survey says

Elaina Athans Image
Thursday, December 17, 2020
1-in-4 small businesses at risk of closing doors, survey says
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A new study suggests that one-in-four businesses are at risk of closing their doors in the next six months should the economic burden of COVID-19 continue.

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Small businesses have about a week before the holiday shopping season comes to a close.

Flourish Market Owner Emily Sexton says foot traffic certainly is down, but staff remains busy. Employees are bundling up for curbside pick-ups. Staff are also packaging up orders and shipping out items during a trying holiday season.

"(People used to want) $30 and under for gifts. Now, it's $20 and under," said Sexton.

She did research going into Christmas, picking and choosing items she knew would move off shelves instead of being stuck inside the store.

2020 has been a challenge for most, if not all, businesses. For Sexton, sales are down about 18% from last year.

Despite the dip in sales, Sexton says she is in pretty good shape in comparison to her counterparts.

"I would say we definitely fought for it, but we never once felt alone in the fight," she said.

A new survey from the National Federation of Independent Business Research Center finds one-in-four small business owners says they'll likely close their doors if current economic conditions don't improve over the next six months.

Hopes for a return to normal are low among small business owners, the survey shows just 4% of owners report that conditions are back to normal now. Forty-seven percent of owners anticipate it taking sometime until 2021 to get back to normal and another 36% believe their situation will not fully improve until after 2022.

Merchants are thankful for every dollar that comes in and hope it halts another wave of closures on Main Street.

"December, for many of my small business buddies, especially in retail, is when they're going to make a call...can they still stay in business, or do they need to shut their doors," said Sexton.