The coronavirus outbreak is dominating the public consciousness. According to a consumer survey by Bospar, 55.3% of Americans are afraid of contracting COVID-19 (the disease the virus causes) this year. Although some areas are currently more affected than others, the impact of the virus is widespread, leaving business owners and consumers worldwide in a state of uncertainty.
As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other health agencies continue to monitor the outbreak and implement testing and prevention procedures, thousands of individuals around the U.S. (including some government officials) are in self- or government-mandated quarantine.
At this point, lawmakers, businesses, and individuals alike are still determining what to expect from this outbreak and how to prepare for a variety of outcomes.
Supply Chain Interruption
In addition to the risk of losing business from customers, small businesses may also find it difficult to access supplies and receive shipments from their vendors as the coronavirus continues to spread. So far, these supply chain interruptions have mostly been experienced by businesses who source products and supplies in China, but it’s possible that the uncertainty in the market and the demand of particular products (hand sanitizer, soap, cleaning supplies) over others will also impact the general flow of goods to small businesses.
As a small business owner, perhaps one of the biggest reasons that you’re concerned about the possible effects of coronavirus (other than for general health and well-being) is finances. Many small businesses operate on tight budgets and this market and consumer uncertainty can mean big problems for your finances—even possibly leading to concerns about paying your rent or mortgage, paying your employees, and affording general necessities.
Luckily, lawmakers and officials have anticipated these concerns and have already taken actions to mitigate the impact of the virus for small businesses specifically. On March 10 the U.S. Committee on Small Business held a hearing to discuss “The Impact of Coronavirus on America’s Small Businesses,” where they heard from health experts, economists, and small firms disrupted by the virus with the goal of working to establish best practices to prepare for and react to the pandemic.
On March 3, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates by half a percent—making it easier and more affordable for businesses who do need financing right now to get capital.
For more information on the possible outcomes of this outbreak and tips on how you can mitigate its interruption on your business, check out the full guide from Fundera.
Fundera exists to help business owners make smarter financial decisions. We do this by helping small businesses confidently shop, compare, and understand the financial solutions they need to succeed.