Friday, December 11, 2020

"48% Of U.S. Small Businesses Fear That They May Be Forced To “Shut Down Permanently”

"48% Of U.S. Small Businesses Fear That 
They May Be Forced To “Shut Down Permanently”
by Epic Economist

"What would the U.S. economic landscape look like without half of its small businesses? That's what we're going to discuss in today's video. Roughly 48% of all small business owners in the entire country have revealed in a recent survey their companies are on the brink of extinction. This is a very alarming rate, even considering the enormous economic deterioration experienced throughout this year. It means that while corporate giants will easily navigate through the new round of lockdowns, after this is all over, half of our beloved local businesses might be gone forever. As a result, mass lay-offs and much more financial pain are expected, but millions of Americans are already struggling to stay afloat during this very dark winter, and some have been resorting to shoplifting to have what to eat. The whole scenario is terrifying. 

Based on this week’s Alignable Q4 Revenue Poll, 48% of all small businesses are likely to shut down for good before the year’s end. The survey also provided some statements from small business owners that are truly heart-wrenching. One of them said that at the current stage, the sanitary outbreak has raised its ugly head again. "I’m a caterer and I’ve had no work in November and my clients are canceling for December. This is so sad. I have worked so hard to build my business for the last 14 years. My business has gone from half a million to not even 200,000. This is devastating for any business," he disclosed. 

Some sectors, such as spas and salons that require proximity between the service providers and the customers have been particularly hard hit by the new regulations. An owner of one of these establishments stated that because therapeutic massage is so ‘up close and personal,’ he has only come back to about 40% of his previous clientele, while affirming to be afraid that the governor will shut his business down again, which in his view, it would be the end. "I also believe the ‘ruling elite’ does not care about small businesses,” he said. 

Honestly speaking, the elites don't care at all. And every time one of these small companies close and lay-off their workers, the unemployment crisis only gets worse. Last Thursday, the Labor Department reported the highest weekly surge in unemployment claims since September 19. The report indicates that first-time claims for unemployment insurance totaled 853,000 - an acute growth compared to the 716,000 total figure from a week before. “This recent surge suggests that claims are not just stagnating, they’re actively worsening,” highlighted Daniel Zhao, senior economist at Glassdoor. “The surge in initial claims is especially concerning when claims are still above levels near the peak of the Great Recession,” he completed.

The fact is that economists, analysts, and experts have been warning for months that the new lockdowns would make the numbers worse, and that is exactly what is happening now. And one financial strategist that was interviewed by CNBC is saying that this is just the beginning. 

As government authorities remain deadlocked about the passing of a new relief bill to support its businesses and citizens, millions of Americans have been unemployed for so long that they are no longer eligible to collect benefits. And in a matter of weeks, over 12 million Americans and their families will lose all federal benefits that kept them afloat. Right now, the situation is so dire that many are already becoming very desperate. Consequently, some have been turning to shoplifting to get essential supplies and have enough to eat.

Since the burst of the outbreak, shoplifting has been registered at higher levels than in past economic recessions. Retailers and security experts signaled that this time around the products that have been taken aren't highly-priced merchandise, but staples like bread, dried food, and baby formula.

According to the latest data from the Census Bureau, 1 in 8 Americans, which accounts for approximately 26 million adults, reported that they currently don't have enough to eat. And projections alert that this number might escalate to a whopping 54 million after the expiration of federal aid. 

Everywhere we look, our country's economy is crumbling all around us. Americans have been suffering like never before. It's lamentable to see so much pain and desperation in a season that was traditionally marked by celebrations and festivities. And despite the claims that everything is going to be okay as soon as a vaccine is widely distributed, the damages done won't be reversed overnight. At this point, all hopes are merely a mirage, and everything will continue to deteriorate as we head into 2021."

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