Fewer North Carolina small businesses reported experiencing adverse effects from the COVID-19 pandemic than the national average, according to the latest survey from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The survey found 18.5% of businesses in the state reported the pandemic had a large negative effect on their businesses compared with 25.2% of businesses nationwide. In addition, 31.7% of North Carolina businesses reported experiencing “little or no effect” from the pandemic, which is nearly 8% more than the national average.
Nearly 40% of North Carolina businesses (38.9%) reported experiencing “moderate negative impacts,” which was more than 3 percentage points lower than the national rate.
The bureau’s Small Business Pulse Survey, conducted the week of June 28 to July 4, measured the changing business conditions because of the pandemic and included information on small business operations and finances, requests and receipt of assistance, vaccines, capital expenditures and expectations for recovery.
Amid recovery efforts, however, 89% of small businesses nationwide said they struggled to fill open positions last month, according to a new National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) jobs report.
“In the busy summer season, many firms haven’t been able to hire enough workers to efficiently run their businesses, which has restricted sales and output,” NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg said . “In June, we saw a record high percent of owners raising compensation to help attract needed employees and job creation plans also remain at record highs. Owners are doing everything they can to get back to a full, productive staff.”
North Carolina businesses have been spared from greater negative effects from the pandemic, the U.S. Census Bureau survey showed. During the onset of the pandemic from April 26, 2020, to May 2, 2020, 46.8% of businesses in the state said the pandemic caused a “large negative effect,” but later reports show that perspective changed as months progressed. By the week of June 21, 2020, 30.5% of businesses said the pandemic had a large negative effect.
When it comes to revenue impact, 73.4% of North Carolina businesses said they saw no change in revenue during the week of June 28 to July 4, which was 4.7 percentage points below the national average. About 16% (15.9%) of North Carolina businesses said their revenues decreased during the week. During the week of April 26, 2020, to May 2, 2020, however, 73.1% of businesses in the state reported revenue loss.
Most North Carolina businesses have between $15,001 to $125,000 in revenue, the survey said. It showed 21.1% have revenue totaling between $15,001 to $50,000, and 17.8% have between $50,001 to $125,000.
About 26% North Carolina businesses (25.7%) said they expect operations to return to usual levels in more than six months. Another 22.6% said they expect operations to bounce back within two to three months. While 25.1% have already bounced back, another 5.6% said they do not believe business will return to the usual level of operations, the report shows.
The NFIB did not respond Monday to a request for additional comment.