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Only 4% of small businesses asked family, friends for aid during pandemic

(BUSINESS FINANCE) Small businesses looked all over for financial aid — everywhere, it seems, but their communities.

small business owners

In the wake of the world shutting down, small business owners were—and still are—understandably desperate for financial aid to help keep their companies afloat, with almost 80% of small business owners accepting some kind of support from the federal government.

So it’s interesting that, despite ongoing conversations and continual delays of government relief, only about 4% of small business owners turned to friends or family for financial help.

LendingTree, an online marketplace for lenders, analyzed the U.S. Census Bureau’s recent survey of small business owners and found that, even in places where government outreach was minimal, small businesses were even more reluctant to turn to their communities than they were to implore the government for help.

But the same rang true for states that asked for the most aid from the government as well, with Washington D.C. topping that list with almost 15% of polled small businesses turning to the government; nevertheless, only a scant 4.1% of these businesses regarded their communities as potential saviors.

No matter how one looks at the data, the takeaway is that small businesses still aren’t getting anywhere close to the level of aid they require—and this isn’t even close to over. Indeed, LendingTree’s Derek Miller fully expects the lack of support for small businesses to get worse before it gets better.

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“[W]e may see some kind of small business crisis in the same way we could see an eviction crisis now that the coronavirus relief bill unemployment benefits have expired,” admitted Miller in the initial report. 

Despite optimism, small businesses continue to struggle in a post-COVID market, it’s important to remember that these are the companies which are hit the hardest in times like these. Small business owners stand to lose everything for which they have worked—in some cases, for their whole lives—in the blink of an eye; yet these same owners show what some may construe as compassion for their communities in refusing to ask for aid.

If ever we needed a reminder to buy local and support small businesses rather than corporate behemoths, this is it.

Jack Lloyd has a BA in Creative Writing from Forest Grove's Pacific University; he spends his writing days using his degree to pursue semicolons, freelance writing and editing, oxford commas, and enough coffee to kill a bear. His infatuation with rain is matched only by his dry sense of humor.



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