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Small businesses make up 45% of Texas jobs. How is COVID-19 affecting them?

Business bankruptcies are up, but do those numbers capture the full picture? The bankruptcies and closures of small businesses can be hard to track.

DALLAS — It’s not just individuals who are struggling these days. Bankruptcies have surged in the coronavirus pandemic. 

Epiq, which tracks bankruptcies, shows nationwide commercial Chapter 11 bankruptcies in the months of March through August have gone from 3,061 in 2017, to 2,705 in 2018, to 2,677 in 2019, to 3,601 in the same time period in 2020.

Most of the headlines about business bankruptcies are about big companies going under. 

But beneath the surface, some experts warn we are losing thousands of small businesses. Their bankruptcies and permanent closures can be harder to track. 

We should care about what happens to small firms because in Texas they account for more than 45% of all private sector jobs. 

Harvard University-based Opportunity Insights has created a searchable map that allows you to see the impact of COVID-19 on small businesses, all the way down to the ZIP code.

For instance, the 76259 Zip in Denton County saw small business revenue plummet by 69% in the spring. 

Many of those businesses are struggling to recover. So, they have made a battle cry to the rest of us is: shop small.  

Businesses of all sizes are scrambling to come up with plans for another expected wave of COVID-19. 

According to a survey by firm Willis Towers Watson, only 32% of companies have a blueprint for handling subsequent waves of the virus. Another 50% say they plan to come up with a plan. 

If you’re business is one of those trying to develop a plan, you can find helpful advice here and here.