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Measuring the Effect of COVID-19 on U.S. Small Businesses: The Small Business Pulse Survey

Author

Listed:
  • Catherine Buffington
  • Carrie Dennis
  • Emin Dinlersoz
  • Lucia Foster
  • Shawn Klimek

Abstract

In response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Census Bureau developed and fielded an entirely new survey intended to measure the effect on small businesses. The Small Business Pulse Survey (SBPS) will run weekly from April 26 to June 27, 2020. Results from the SBPS will be published weekly through a visualization tool with downloadable data. We describe the motivation for SBPS, summarize how the content for the survey was developed, and discuss some of the initial results from the survey. We also describe future plans for the SBPS collections and for our research using the SBPS data. Estimates from the first week of the SBPS indicate large to moderate negative effects of COVID-19 on small businesses, and yet the majority expect to return to usual level of operations within the next six months. Reflecting the Census Bureau’s commitment to scientific inquiry and transparency, the micro data from the SBPS will be available to qualified researchers on approved projects in the Federal Statistical Research Data Center network.

Suggested Citation

  • Catherine Buffington & Carrie Dennis & Emin Dinlersoz & Lucia Foster & Shawn Klimek, 2020. "Measuring the Effect of COVID-19 on U.S. Small Businesses: The Small Business Pulse Survey," Working Papers 20-16, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:20-16
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    File URL: https://www2.census.gov/ces/wp/2020/CES-WP-20-16.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    5. repec:fip:a00002:87896 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Daniel J. Lewis & Karel Mertens & James H. Stock, 2020. "Measuring Real Activity Using a Weekly Economic Index," Working Papers 2011, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, revised 02 Mar 2021.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Alexis Louaas & Pierre Picard, 2020. "A pandemic business interruption insurance," Working Papers hal-02941948, HAL.
    2. Cicala, Steve, 2021. "The incidence of extreme economic stress: Evidence from utility disconnections," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 200(C).
    3. Charlene Marie Kalenkoski & Sabrina Wulff Pabilonia, 2022. "Impacts of COVID-19 on the self-employed," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 58(2), pages 741-768, February.
    4. Nicholas Bloom & Robert S. Fletcher & Ethan Yeh, 2021. "The Impact of COVID-19 on US Firms," NBER Working Papers 28314, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Daiji Kawaguchi & Sagiri Kitao & Manabu Nose, 2021. "The impact of COVID-19 on Japanese firms: Mobility and resilience via remote work," CAMA Working Papers 2021-71, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    6. Catherine Buffington & Daniel Chapman & Emin Dinlersoz & Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger, 2021. "High Frequency Business Dynamics in the United States During the COVID-19 Pandemic," Working Papers 21-06, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    7. Jelle Schepers & Pieter Vandekerkhof & Yannick Dillen, 2021. "The Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis on Growth-Oriented SMEs: Building Entrepreneurial Resilience," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(16), pages 1-20, August.
    8. Leland D. Crane & Ryan A. Decker & Aaron B. Flaaen & Adrian Hamins-Puertolas & Christopher J. Kurz, 2020. "Business Exit During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Non-Traditional Measures in Historical Context," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2020-089r1, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), revised 15 Apr 2021.
    9. Nicholas Bloom & Philip Bunn & Paul Mizen & Pawel Smietanka & Gregory Thwaites, 2020. "The Impact of Covid-19 on Productivity," NBER Working Papers 28233, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Catherine Buffington & Jason Fields & Lucia Foster, 2021. "Measuring the Impact of COVID-19 on Businesses and People: Lessons from the Census Bureau's Experience," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 111, pages 312-316, May.
    11. Catherine Buffington & Daniel Chapman & Emin Dinlersoz & Lucia Foster & James Hunt & Shawn Klimek, 2021. "Small Business Pulse Survey Estimates by Owner Characteristics and Rural/Urban Designation," Working Papers 21-24, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    12. Katharine G. Abraham & Ron S. Jarmin & Brian Moyer & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2020. "Big Data for Twenty-First-Century Economic Statistics: The Future Is Now," NBER Chapters, in: Big Data for Twenty-First-Century Economic Statistics, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Augustin F. C. Chabossou & Gbêtondji Melaine Armel Nonvide & Boris O. K. Lokonon & Cocou Jaurès Amegnaglo & Laurent G. Akpo, 2022. "COVID-19 and the Performance of Exporting Companies in Benin," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 34(2), pages 828-842, April.
    14. Ana Sequeira & Cristina Manteu & Nuno Monteiro, 2020. "The short-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Portuguese companies," Working Papers o202003, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    15. Catherine Buffington & Daniel Chapman & Emin Dinlersoz & Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger, 2021. "High-frequency data from the U.S. Census Bureau during the COVID-19 pandemic: small vs. new businesses," Business Economics, Palgrave Macmillan;National Association for Business Economics, vol. 56(3), pages 155-167, July.

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