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When Missouri's small businesses expect a recovery

U.S. Census Bureau survey data analyzed by Mastercard show that 37.6% of small business owners here saw recovery as at least six months out as of September
Credit: SLBJ
More than 37% of Missouri small business owners saw recovery as at least six months out as of September.

ST. LOUIS — Well over a third of Missouri's small businesses do not anticipate a full economic recovery until at least March, a new survey finds, though the outlook here is better than across the nation.

U.S. Census Bureau survey data analyzed by Mastercard show that 37.6% of small business owners here saw recovery as at least six months out as of September. The figure was 43.9% of small business owners nationally, and 49% in Illinois.

A problem for many of the firms is lack of digital infrastructure, said Ginger Siegel, the credit card giant's small business lead.

"We know there are many businesses that did not get (Paycheck Protection Program loans), and many businesses have not been able to pivot to a more digital approach to keep their customer base," said Siegel, adding it's part of the reason that small business closures have picked up.

In fact, 28.2% of Missouri businesses continued to experience a decrease in revenue as of the first week of September, Mastercard reported. Similarly, a Business Journal survey found recently that nearly seven in 10 businesses nationally have seen their revenue decline since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Mastercard figures also found that 21.7% of Missouri businesses are still negatively impacted by social distancing measures.

Perhaps most bleak was the finding that 48% of all small business across North America are only one missed payment away from going out of business. 

The report comes as House Democrats have unveiled a new $2.2 trillion stimulus package that includes a wide variety of small-business relief programs, including billions of dollars in grants for live-venue operators and a second round of Paycheck Protection Program loans. There is doubt, though, about a deal with Republicans.

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