Facebook, World Bank, OECD Examine Covid-19’s Impact on SMBs Worldwide

They surveyed 30,000 in 50 countries, finding that 26% closed between January and May

74% of business that were closed at the time of the survey expected to reopen wundervisuals/iStock
Headshot of David Cohen

Facebook teamed up with the Small Business Roundtable in May on a U.S. version of the State of Small Business Report, and the Global State of Small Business Report, released Wednesday, contained many of the same conclusions.

The social network teamed up with the World Bank and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to survey over 30,000 small business owners across 50 countries in May.

Their findings included:

  • More than one-third of small and midsized businesses surveyed reported workforce reductions as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • 26% of SMBs were forced to close between January and May, with that figure topping 50% in some countries, including Bangladesh and Ireland.
  • Consumer-focused sectors were the hardest hit, with 54% of tourism agencies and 47% of SMBs in the hospitality and events area reporting that they were closed at the time of the survey.
  • Businesses led by women also took a harder hit, as they were 7 percentage points more likely to be closed at the time of the survey than SMBs owned by men.
  • Roughly 30% of micro-businesses—defined as those owned and operated by one person—were closed at the time of the survey.
  • 74% of business that were closed at the time of the survey expected to reopen as lockdown measures were lifted.
  • 62% of SMBs that were operational in May reported lower sales in the 30 days prior to the survey compared with the corresponding period in 2019, with 57% of those businesses citing declines of at least 50%.
  • Financial support was received by 23% of SMBs surveyed, with 60% of that in the form of government grants and loans.
  • One-half of SMBs that were operational in May said at least 25% of their sales over the past month were made digitally.

Facebook said in a Newsroom post, “Small businesses are the heart of our communities—and they are the unsung heroes of the global economy. From coffee shops, bookstores and restaurants to plumbers, wedding planners and graphic designers, small businesses create jobs and growth in every country, helping to reduce poverty and income inequality. But they are facing the challenge of a lifetime. The Covid-19 pandemic isn’t just a public health emergency, it’s also an economic crisis that is hitting SMBs exceptionally hard.”

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.