U.S. small biz is recovering after COVID-19 sucker punch


Small businesses in the United States are on the road to recovery, according to a new report from accounting software giant Intuit. As of March 31, 2021, most industries saw better revenue than they did the year before the pandemic.

Intuit pulled anonymized data from one million small businesses (out of approximately 29 million that use the company’s QuickBooks platforms) to produce the Intuit QuickBooks Small Business Recovery report. In recent years, Intuit has been realizing the benefits of having so many small businesses (approximately 29 million) plugged into its QuickBooks products, producing offerings like benchmarking and various industry reports.

The most recent report showed that COVID-19’s impact on business revenue was most severe in April 2020 when revenue dropped by 22 percent nationwide, equivalent to $4.6 billion during that month alone compared to before the pandemic.

In general, businesses in high-density, urban areas — especially on the East and West Coasts — experienced a greater negative financial impact than those in rural areas. Brooklyn and San Francisco were among the worst-hit cities, and some of the worst-hit businesses were in the recreation industry. Bowling alleys’ annual revenues are down by 33 percent, a drop of more than $250,000 per business, compared to before the pandemic.

Home improvement and real estate businesses have been among the top performers over the past 12 months. Employees forced to stay home turned to home improvement services to upgrade their environments and home offices, and individuals fleeing cities hard-hit by the pandemic drove up the real estate market in certain areas of the country. At the end of March 2021, mortgage bankers’ annual revenues were up by 30 percent compared to their pre-pandemic level, an increase of $147,000 per business.

The Intuit report used net bank deposits, which show how much money is going into business bank accounts, excluding government grants and loans, to provide a picture of small business revenues after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“From bowling alleys to dentists, and from coast to coast, no small business was immune to the challenging circumstances that COVID-19 presented this year,” said Alex Chriss, executive vice president and general manager of Intuit QuickBooks, in a statement. “Despite these challenges, our data shows that small businesses are on a path to recovery, demonstrating the resilience and tenacity that small businesses embody for all of us. The spirit of resilience and recovery is evident across the entire QuickBooks platform, and Intuit is committed to helping businesses learn new ways to grow and thrive in the future.”

To view the full report and learn more about the sample, data and methodology, visit Intuit’s site here.

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