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Starting (or Reinventing) a Thriving Pandemic Business

The crisis has led many Americans to start new ventures or reapproach old ideas.

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From late March to mid-July, more than 420,000 small businesses closed permanently, according to a Brookings Institution report released in mid-September.  That’s more than typically shutter in an entire year. “We look set to lose at least as many small businesses in this year alone as over the four-year period from peak to trough during the Great Recession,” the report warns.

These enterprises are fragile: “47% would have to rely on personal funds to fill a 2-month revenue gap, 88% rely on their personal credit score, and only 44% have had a bank loan in the past 5 years,” the report’s author, Steven Hamilton, tweeted the day it was released. “I worry about the destruction of intangible capital—like links between businesses and their workers, suppliers and customers—when hundreds of thousands of otherwise-viable businesses fail. Big businesses reorganize; small businesses dissolve. There are big macro effects too,” he wrote in another tweet.