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Survey: Many small businesses don't expect to survive long as coronavirus wallops economy

Julia La Roche
Correspondent

More than half of U.S. small businesses say that they won’t be able to operate beyond three months because of the economic impact caused by the coronavirus, a new survey from Goldman Sachs found. 

This week, Goldman surveyed more than 1,500 participants in the firm’s 10,000 Small Businesses program, which runs across 48 states and four U.S. territories. Of those surveyed, 54% were female business owners.

There are nearly 30.7 million small businesses in the U.S., employing around 47.3% of the private workforce, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Approximately 51% of the business owners surveyed by Goldman reported that they can “only be able to continue to operate for 0-3 months,” according to Goldman.

The results highlight the severe and sudden impact COVID-19 is having on the economy, which is expected to contract and hemorrhage jobs in the coming weeks amid widespread public lockdowns.

According to Goldman, almost all of the respondents, some 96%, said their business has already been impacted by the virus, with 75% reporting fewer sales. 

While many Americans are working from home, self-quarantining, or under “shelter-in-place” orders in their cities, 53% of the small businesses surveyed stated that their employees can’t telecommute. 

With the growing need for financial relief, 67% are uncertain about how to access or apply for emergency funding. Meanwhile, 75% feel as if they have no voice or not a very strong voice in the policy-making process.

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Julia La Roche is a Correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.