Small business owners in Missouri—at least the ones who responded to a recent survey from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)—don’t see a quick economic recovery as we all work to get through the coronavirus pandemic. We can only hope their opinion isn’t fact.
Here are the key findings from Missouri’s recent survey of NFIB members:
• 92 percent of Missouri small business owners feel that the state should lift the non-essential and stay-at-home orders immediately or within the next 30 days (most have already been lifted).
• 96 percent of Missouri small business owners are not at all concerned or somewhat concerned about the government lifting restrictions too early.
• Just 40 percent of Missouri small business owners think their local economy will get back to near pre-crisis levels of economic activity this year, while 39 percent of Missouri small business owners think that won’t happen until sometime in 2021, and 16 percent of Missouri small business owners think it won’t be until 2022 or later.
• 79 percent of Missouri small business owners applied for the PPP or EIDL loan program and while 88 percent have received their PPP loan already, just seven percent of Missouri small business have applied and received their EIDL loan and grant, with another nine percent receiving an EIDL grant but not a loan and another nine percent have not received either an EIDL loan or grant.
• 65 percent of Missouri small business owners are very concerned or moderately concerned about getting customers back.
• 69 percent of Missouri small business owners are very concerned or moderately concerned with increased liability.
“As Missouri small business owners begin the process of reopening, it’s critical that they have protection from the threat of lawsuits. Small business owners face enough obstacles from the coronavirus crisis,” said NFIB Missouri Director Brad Jones. “Let’s not wait for lawmakers in Washington D.C. to act. I am hopeful that the governor will call a special session so that Missouri state lawmakers can address the important issue of liability protection so our small business owners who have so far survived their pandemic can get back to work without the fear of costly legal battles.”
Jones is right, but businesses must also be proactive to protect their employees and customers from the virus. The state and national governments have issued detailed instructions on how businesses can help prevent the spread of the virus, from letting employees work from home when possible and social distancing in the workplace, to sanitizing commonly touched surfaces and encouraging customers to social distance and wear facemasks.
To get through this, we must all do our part. The more precautions we take, the quicker we’ll beat this virus so we can all get back to normal.
Antibody test was negative
On a personal note, my wife decided recently that she would get a COVID-19 antibody test. At no point did we believe she had the virus, but she and I were both sick in February with probably the worse upper respiratory infection we have ever had. It took more than a month to get over it and she even wound up with pneumonia.
Numerous people—including many of our family members who were also sick in February—were convinced the virus was here then (some claimed it was here in December or earlier) and that we all had it. Although we didn’t believe that, we decided to put it to the test.
My wife found out Monday that she is negative for COVID-19 antibodies. Given the local outbreak of COVID-19 has been only minor (let’s all pray that continues), it’s clear the virus was not here in February before we all went into lockdown, or it would have been worse.
Don’t assume you have had the virus. Assume you haven’t and continue washing your hands, sanitizing surfaces, and social distancing.
Also, consider wearing a mask in public if you are not already—not for yourself, but for others. Some of the latest studies suggest 80 percent of people who get the virus never have symptoms. The last thing we should all want is to be one of those 80 percent and pass the virus on to someone who will get sick or die from it.
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