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Small businesses urge Congress for stimulus, expert says 'they're hanging on for dear life'

Anne Zimmerman, Co-Chair Small Business for America’s Future, joins Yahoo Finance's Alexis Christoforous and Brian Sozzi to discuss small businesses' cry to Washington to pass another round of stimulus right now.

Video Transcript

BRIAN SOZZI: All right. A lot of small business owners are making clear they need Washington to pass another round of stimulus right now. That's the finding of a recent survey put out by the advocacy group Small Business for America's Future. And the co-chair of that group, Anne Zimmerman, joins us now. So good morning to you. What are these business leaders telling you right now?

ANNE ZIMMERMAN: Well, they're telling us that they're engaged and enraged. They're hanging on for dear life. They're pushed to their limit. We polled over 1,500 people with the poll we're rolling out this week, and of those 15% say that they have already found to have trouble and 34% say they can't make it past the end of the year without some help from the government. On top of that, they're also planning to vote. That was one of the things that struck me. 98% of these small business owners are voting, which is quite a number.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Yeah. That brings me to my next question. I was going to ask if your clients are talking about the election and are they worried about their taxes going up if Biden wins the White House? What are they telling you about the election?

ANNE ZIMMERMAN: That was way at the bottom of what we're finding out. What they want now is a national plan to get rid of this virus, to get it under control. Because without that, we're not going to be able to do any kind of a return to normalcy. So that's one of the big ones. They want the 150,000 PPPs forgiven, for sure. We need clarity on the taxability of these PPPs and we need grants, not loans, to those small businesses-- truly small businesses-- that have been directly affected. Not across the board, but to the small businesses that have been directly affected, many of which we know are small businesses owned by people of color or women.

BRIAN SOZZI: Anne, in talking to these leaders, how much longer do you think these businesses could go if they don't get stimulus?

ANNE ZIMMERMAN: Well, those numbers are pretty amazing. A third-- more than a third of them said they can't make it past the end of the year if we don't get stimulus. So my concern is if we wait until after the election, it's not going to be out there by that time. 28% are already considering closing their doors permanently. So I think time is of the utmost importance, absolutely. We can't afford to have this put off after till after the election. Small businesses employ half the people in this country.

And when we came out of the Great Recession, we-- small businesses-- created more than 2/3 of the jobs that brought us out of the recession. If we get this under control eventually and we don't have small businesses in place still alive, still viable to lead the way, I don't think you're going to see the recovery that you're expecting.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Are you getting a sense of which small businesses are able to weather this pandemic better than others-- I mean, in terms of sectors and industries, Anne?

ANNE ZIMMERMAN: Well, I don't have actual numbers on that. But clearly, the ones that need to gather the consumer in groups are the ones that are suffering the most, where service industries that can work remotely are able to survive a little better. And of course, a lot of our clients-- being a CPA also, I work solely with small businesses and a lot of our clients are getting creative, as you spoke about Disney trying to find a different model to roll out their product. And that's keeping them alive, but it's not the long-term solution-- the long-term solution. It's not the new normal, I don't think, for a small business.