90% Of Houston Small Businesses Have Lost Revenue Due To Coronavirus

A Greater Houston Partnership survey shows the impact on Houston’s small businesses.

Small Business
Don Geraci / Houston Public Media
A boarded-up small business in Houston, during the coronavirus pandemic.


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Houston's small and medium-sized businesses are feeling the impact from the coronavirus outbreak.

A survey by the Greater Houston Partnership shows 91% of GHP member businesses with 500 or fewer employees have lost revenue.

More than one-third have laid off workers and about half said they are not paying employees during the shutdown.

Four in 10 businesses said they can survive the slowdown for only four weeks or less.

"As Houstonians, we can recover quickly if we can keep these businesses alive and they can return to work (and) they can rehire employees, even employees that they severed or furloughed," GHP President and CEO Bob Harvey said. "But to do that, we've got to get through the period of the next few weeks without losing these companies entirely."

He said the small business relief program in the CARES Act that President Donald Trump signed into law last week is an important step to help businesses survive.

Here are the highlights from the GHP survey:

  • Small businesses are feeling the impact of the COVID-19 slowdown.
    • 18% are unable to receive supplies or services
    • 29% are unable to deliver goods or services
    • 34% have reduced employee headcount
    • 17% are operating at zero capacity
    • 59% are operating below half capacity
    • 91% have lost revenue
    • 41% can survive the slowdown/shutdown for only 1 to 4 weeks
  • Companies are split about paying employees who temporarily can't work.
    • 49% will not pay workers during the COVID-19 hiatus
    • 32% will pay full wages
    • 19% will pay reduced wages
  • Economic uncertainty is high.
    • 64% concerned about finances and liquidity
    • 58% concerned about declining consumer confidence
    • 53% concerned about a U.S. or global recession
    • 55% "unsure" if they will have to make permanent layoffs in the next 6 months

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