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Extraordinary Times Call for Extraordinary Measures

Small Business Assistance During the COVID-19 Pandemic


Carolina Small Business Development Fund Research Report and Brief in Collaboration with ResilNC


ABSTRACT

The financial losses caused by COVID-19 are extraordinary in scope and have affected every facet of the small business ecosystem. For entrepreneurs, recovery from the pandemic has similarly required extraordinary levels of assistance. We assess the connection between COVID-19 grant and loan emergency interventions with a variety of positive community economic development impacts. Our analysis draws from a survey of aid recipients across ten COVID-19 relief programs offered or administered by Carolina Small Business Development Fund between February 2020 and February 2022. The data highlight three main findings. First, while the pandemic’s economic damage was high across all underprivileged communities, in many cases the harms disproportionately accrued to Black-owned firms. Second, the results show that grant initiatives are better for short-term financial stability and are likely to position recipients for future financing opportunities. Finally, disaster loans are favored for outcomes related to higher employment retention and a creating a more favorable business sentiment outlook.



WHY THIS MATTERS

As the policy spotlight has shifted away from small business needs in this area, our findings serve as a reminder that the pandemic’s adverse impacts will echo for some time. COVID-19’s economic impacts exacerbated inequities for marginalized constituencies, especially BIPOC-owned and women-owned entrepreneurs. More help is needed for the full recovery of these and other small businesses, and failing to act may cause permanent economic damage. To ensure long-term recovery we urge policymakers to build upon proven strategies for success, including partnering with community organizations and making innovative use of grant/loan program designs.


GET THE DATA

We’re committed to sharing our data so that it can be replicated by other researchers. The anonymized data used for this publication can be accessed at CSBDF’s dataverse.


FIND OUT MORE

Visit the Extraordinary Times Report website for more details about this project.


DOWNLOAD THE BRIEF, REPORT, AND POSTER:


Brief-Extraordinary-Times
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Report-Extraordinary-Times
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Poster-Extraordinary-Times
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SUGGESTED PAPER CITATIONS:

McCall, Jamie, R. Weston, Brittany B., Onorevole, James R., Roberson, John C., and Jamie Andrews. 2022. “Extraordinary Times Call for Extraordinary Measures: Small Business Assistance During the Pandemic.” Carolina Small Business Development Fund and ResilNC. Raleigh and Greensboro, NC doi: 10.46712/extraordinary.times.

McCall, Jamie, R. Weston, Brittany B., Onorevole, James R., Roberson, John C., and Jamie Andrews. 2022. "Replication Data for: Extraordinary Times Call for Extraordinary Measures: Small Business Assistance During the Pandemic." Harvard Dataverse, V1.2. doi: 10.7910/DVN/ZLRJVU.


McCall, Jamie, R. Weston, Brittany B., Onorevole, James R., Roberson, John C., and Jamie Andrews. 2022. “Extraordinary Times Call for Extraordinary Measures: Small Business Assistance During the Pandemic.” Carolina Small Business Development Fund and ResilNC. Poster presented at the Duke University Pandemic Divide Conference, October 26, Durham, NC.




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