Small Business Labs

Our Updated Small Business Closure Forecast is More Optimistic, But Still Grim

Small Business Labs

In early April, we released a 2020 small business closure forecast. We've updated our forecast and the good news is we're more optimistic about small business survival rates than in our April forecast.  

2020 169

COVID-19's Huge Financial Impact on Cities

Small Business Labs

According to the National League of Cities (NLC) , 65% of cities are being forced to delay or cancel capital spending and infrastructure projects due to COVID-19.      Unlike the federal government, most U.S. cities are required by charter to run a balanced budget. This

2020 187

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Academic Study Measures the Pandemic's Impact on Small Businesses

Small Business Labs

The Effects of the Coronavirus on Hours of Work in Small Businesses , from Yale's Tobin Center for Economic Policy, shows the pandemic's dramatic and ongoing impact on small businesses. 

2020 177

Will COVID-19 Cause Older Small Business Owners to Close Their Businesses?

Small Business Labs

According to the research firm Barlow Research Associates , the average small business owner is 60 years old. And as the Barlow chart below shows (click to enlarge), almost 40% are aged 65 or older.    This raises an interesting question. 

2020 226

U.S. Census Pulse Survey Shows Small Businesses Still Struggling

Small Business Labs

The U.S. Census Small Business Pulse Survey for the week of June 14th to June 20th shows small businesses continue to struggle.      43% of the small businesses surveyed reported a decrease in revenue from the prior week while only 21% reported an increase.

2020 159

Study Shows Most Want to Go Back to Offices, at Least Part-Time

Small Business Labs

Gensler, a large global integrated architecture, design, planning and consulting firm, recently released its U.S. Work From Home Survey 2020 report.

2020 182

One Health Advantage of Work Autonomy and Control May be Less Risk of Dying

Small Business Labs

Independent workers (freelancers, gig workers, independent contractors, etc.) consistently report a major benefit of being independent is the work flexibility, autonomy, and control it provides. It turns out having work flexibility, autonomy, and control may also mean you are at less risk of dying.

2020 185

Facebook Announces Facebook Shops

Small Business Labs

This week Facebook announced Facebook Shops , which it describes as "a mobile-first shopping experience where businesses can easily create an online store on Facebook and Instagram."

Almost 7 in 10 Baby Boomers Expect to or are Already Working Past Age 65

Small Business Labs

Regular readers know we cover retirement and the financial lives of baby boomers a lot here at Small Business Labs.    The reason is older Americans have the highest rate of self-employment of any age group.

2020 159

The Growing Army of Freelancers Providing Services to Businesses

Small Business Labs

MBO Partners recently released its 2020 Client of Choice study results, which found that 7.6 million independent professionals (freelancers, independent consultants, etc.) provide their skills to business clients.  

2020 197

Number of U.S. Nonemployer Businesses Continued to Grow in 2018

Small Business Labs

According to the  U.S. Census,  the number of   nonemployer small businesses increased to 26,485,532 in 2018, up 3% from 2017.    Nonemployers are businesses that have an owner but don't have paid traditional full or part-time employees (W2 employees).

2020 178

U.S. Census Pulse Survey Finds Small Businesses Getting Slammed

Small Business Labs

The U.S. Census has created a Small Business Pulse survey to track and measure how small businesses are faring during the COVID-19 pandemic.

2020 174

What's Next for Digital Nomads?

Small Business Labs

It’s clear remote work, and especially working from home , are trends that are being amplified and accelerated by the COVID 19 pandemic and related economic shutdown.      But one group of remote workers are mostly not benefiting from the pandemic - digital nomads. 

2020 186

53 Million Americans are part of the Low Wage Workforce

Small Business Labs

Brookings' Meet the Low Wage Workforce reports that 53 million Americans, or about 44% of all workers aged 18-64, have low-wage jobs. According to Brookings, the national average for a low-wage job is one that pays $16.03 per hour or less. 

2019 235

Independent Workers Qualify for Unemployment Insurance Under the CARES Act

Small Business Labs

Last week Congress passed and the president signed the CARES Act, a $2 trillion stimulus bill designed to help businesses and Americans weather the economic storm caused by the COVID 19 pandemic. Independent workers (the self-employed, freelancers, gig workers, etc.) qualify for a number of assistance programs contained in the bill.    We'll be covering these over the next couple of days.  

2020 190

Freelancers and Solopreneurs are Increasingly Exporters

Small Business Labs

Despite trade wars, tariffs, and the erection of other barriers to cross-border commerce, independent workers, freelancers and solopreneurs are increasingly finding customers outside U.S. borders.

2019 265

Most People Want to Continue Working From Home, Just Not Full-Time

Small Business Labs

Lots of work from home (WFH) surveys have been conducted over the past month.    And one of the most consistent findings of these studies is most people want to continue to work from home, but most of those only want to work from home part-time.

2020 157

Small Business Closure Scenarios

Small Business Labs

Based on an industry by industry analysis (1), our base case estimate is 21% of U.S. employer small businesses will close in 2020 (2) (3).    This is about 1.2 million small businesses.      In our optimistic case, 14% close and in our pessimistic case, 34% close.  

2020 177

23% of Traditional Full-Time Job Holders Plan to Switch to Gig Work

Small Business Labs

According to MetLife's 2019 U.S. Employee Benefits Study, 23% of Americans with full-time traditional jobs intend to switch to gig work over the next 5 years. Another 14% say they are considering it. 

2019 272

The Recession's Economic Damage is Widespread

Small Business Labs

Yesterday we covered a series of recent articles saying it will take 2-3 years for the economy to recover to pre-pandemic levels. One reason for this view is almost all industries are being negatively impacted by the recession. Illustrating this is the BLS's employment diffusion index.

2020 154

Site Covers How the Economy is being Impacted by the Pandemic by Industry

Small Business Labs

Vertical IQ is a leading provider of Industry Intelligence for those advising small- and medium-sized businesses such as bankers, accountants, and other SMB advisors.  

2020 163

Tracking Our Unemployment Forecast Scenarios

Small Business Labs

On April 2nd we released a set of scenarios with estimates of how high the unemployment rate may go in 2020 due to the pandemic induced recession. 

2020 165

California's New Gig Law, AB5, Ignores the Growing Role of Remote Work

Small Business Labs

Business Insider's California is attempting a massive labor experiment that could grow into a disaster for millions of workers outlines some of the many problems with California's new AB5 worker classification law.

2019 211

Freelancers and Financial Well-Being

Small Business Labs

One of the ongoing questions around independent/gig work is its impact on the financial well-being of independent workers (freelancers, gig workers, self-employed, etc.). 

2019 229

What Freelancers Want From Their Clients

Small Business Labs

As we pointed out earlier this week , firms of all sizes and types are increasing their use of freelancers and other forms of non-employee labor. 

2019 259

The Number of Nonemployer Businesses Continues to Grow

Small Business Labs

According to the  U.S. Census, the number of   nonemployer businesses in 2017 increased to 25,701,671, up 3.6% from 2016.    Nonemployers are businesses that have an owner, but don't have paid traditional full or part-time employees (W2 employees).

2019 229

More Freelancers Feeling Secure

Small Business Labs

MBO Partners released their 2019 State of Independence study this week. This is the 9th year of this ongoing study, which provides an in-depth look at American's independent workers (freelancers, independent contractors, self-employed, etc.).

2019 231

How Many Employees Will Small Business Layoff?

Small Business Labs

Based on an industry by industry analysis of small business employment, our base case estimate is employer small businesses will layoff about 21 million employees through July (1).

2020 159

America's Affordability Crisis Driving Growth of Gig Work

Small Business Labs

The Atlantic's The Great Affordability Crisis Breaking America covers how the rapid rise in the prices of housing, healthcare, education and childcare and their impact on Americans. 

2020 173

More Small Businesses Turning to Online Lenders for Financing

Small Business Labs

The Federal Reserve recently released its 2019 Small Business Credit Survey.    A key finding is the use of online lending sources by small businesses is rapidly expanding. 

GCUC 2019 - Coworking's Surge Continues

Small Business Labs

The 2019 U.S. version of the Global Coworking Unconference Conference Series (GCUC) happened last week in Denver. Over 500 attendees showed up to discuss the state of the coworking industry and learn from one another.

2019 236

Purpose and a Paycheck and the New Retirement

Small Business Labs

Purpose and a Paycheck is a new book from Chris Farrell, a leading expert on retirement and workforce issues facing people over the age of 50. 

The Rise of Independent Worker Teams: Fiverr's Studios and Upwork's Agency Experience

Small Business Labs

Fiverr this week announced a new service offering called "Studios" This service gives freelancers the ability to easily join forces to sell and tackle larger and more complex client assignments than a freelancer could do on their own.

2019 214

BCG on the New Freelancers

Small Business Labs

Last week the Big 3 strategy consulting firm BCG released THE NEW FREELANCERS: TAPPING TALENT IN THE GIG ECONOMY , a study on "those who find temporary work through digital labor-sharing platforms."

2019 247

Why Independent Work and Coworking Increase Mental and Physical Well-Being

Small Business Labs

McKinsey's  The overlooked essentials of employee well-being focuses on how companies can improve the well-being of their employees.

2018 265

Community Lenders Creating Community Spaces - Credit Unions are Opening Coworking Spaces

Small Business Labs

CreditUnions.com's article 3 Ways to Connect Through Coworking Spaces provides an excellent example of how coworking is spreading across industry verticals and niche markets. The article highlights 3 credit unions that have opened coworking spaces.

2019 235

The Pros and Cons of Working Remotely

Small Business Labs

Recode's How remote work is quietly remaking our lives provides a deep dive on the growing impacts of the shift towards working remotely. Key quote: "The changes remote work has introduced have happened so gradually you may not have noticed.

2019 196

The Growing Backlash Against AB5, California's New Gig Economy Law

Small Business Labs

California's new labor law, AB5, was meant to help Uber and Lyft drivers - and others - get hired as traditional employees with the hope this would increase their pay and financial security. 

2020 176

The Great Risk Shift - and Economic Insecurity - Continues

Small Business Labs

"Risk shift" is the trend towards economic and other risks - and the responsibility for risk management - being shifted from institutions to individuals. 

2019 222

Living as a Service and the Growth of Mobility

Small Business Labs

Landing recently raised $30 million to provide a "living as service" service.    The firm's founder describes this as : " an all-inclusive long-term living experience that allows a new generation of renters the freedom to choose where and how they live."

2020 165

Staffing to the Valley's, Not the Peaks

Small Business Labs

Campaign's How will adland's freelance industry and gig economy change due to COVID-19? covers how a group of advertising industry executives think the gig economy and freelance work will evolve in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

2020 136

Barclay's 150 Trends for Investors to Watch

Small Business Labs

Barclays, a large global financial firm, recently released a report and chart covering 150 trends that they think investors should watch over the next decade. The trends cover six broad categories and they rank all 150 trends by their likelihood of happening and their potential impact. 

2020 142

Coworking is Disruptive Innovation

Small Business Labs

The term disruptive innovation was coined by Harvard professor Clayton Christensen and popularized by his classic 1997 book  The Innovator’s Dilemma.

2018 247