Small Businesses Are Closing by the Thousands — But No One Knows Exactly How Many


A wave of business failures is going uncounted, in part because real-time data on small business is notoriously scarce, and because owners of small firms often want to avoid bankruptcy, according to an article by Bloomberg’s Madeleine Ngo.


Large corporations that are going through bankruptcies are legal affairs and often major news events. However, while the closure of a small business can be a traumatic event to all those personally involved ( owners, employees, and customers) they often are “silent deaths.”

80,000 | The review site Yelp has data showing 80,000 small businesses permanently closed during the time period, March 1 to July 25.

60,000 | Yelp reports that 60,000 of these companies had fewer than five locations.


Owners fear bankruptcy will scar their credit reports and hurt their future chances to rebuild.

There is a 24 percentage point higher likelihood of being denied a loan, according to the SBA, and a filing can show up on a credit report for 10 years.


Why this is important to the entire economy, not just the small businesses that close.

While the companies are small individually, the collective impact of their failures can be substantial. Firms with fewer than 500 employees account for about 44% of U.S. economic activity, according to a U.S. Small Business Administration report, and they employ almost half of all American workers.


Read more at Bloomberg: Small Businesses Are Dying by the Thousands — And No One Is Tracking the Carnage

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