Poll: Almost one in four small businesses are two months or less away from closing permanently

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Twenty-four percent of small businesses say they will close permanently within two months or less due to the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a poll conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and MetLife released on Friday. 

Eleven percent of small businesses say they will close within one month and 24 percent of small businesses are already shut down on a temporary basis, the poll, which was conducted March 25-28, found.

The poll found that it is likely that 54 percent of all small businesses will close temporarily in the next 14 days. Forty percent of businesses surveyed that have not yet temporarily closed are expecting to do so in that time frame. 

The majority of small businesses surveyed also said that direct cash payments to Americans would be the most helpful aid included in the coronavirus relief package that President Trump signed on Friday. Thirty percent said the loans and financial aid in the package will be the most helpful and 21 percent said suspension of payroll taxes in the package will be the most helpful. 

“As the poll results show, small business owners are looking for loans and financial aid to ensure they do not have to shut their doors or go bankrupt because of the coronavirus. American banks are ready to help, but they need clear guidelines from the Administration,” Neil Bradley, Chamber chief policy officer, said in a statement.

Small businesses are expected to be able to apply for the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program on Friday. The coronavirus relief package included $350 billion in loans to small businesses.

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