It’s impossible to understate the level of economic calamity in which many of the nation’s small businesses now find themselves.
While economic activity has picked up since the early days of the pandemic, regions including New York City and its environs and the Philadelphia metro area remain hobbled. That’s according to the August Beige Book, the Federal Reserve’s regular survey of business activity in 12 districts across the U.S. Similarly, some industries have been particularly hard hit: business services in San Francisco; service-sector businesses in New York; and tourism-related companies in Atlanta. Overall, in many regions, the post-shutdown resurgence began to slow by late August.
Entrepreneurs say the Paycheck Protection Program, which extended more than $521 billion in forgivable loans to around 5 million small businesses up until the program ended on August 8, was pivotal in helping keep their companies afloat during the early part of the