Thought Leadership

Amplifying the Voice of Small Businesses

Interise is celebrating an anniversary.

Amplifying the Voice of Small Businesses

One year ago, this week, Interise launched its Small Business Survey Panel. As we all know, small businesses faced uniquely dire circumstances under COVID-19 and the resulting economic crisis. As such, Interise established the panel to collect monthly information about these impacts and the ways in which small businesses are coping and pivoting to stay afloat. A full year later, the panel is 500 members strong.

Each month the panel chooses a new survey topic which spans anywhere from, current financial and operational impacts, desired support mechanisms (e.g., financing, crisis management), eventual recovery outcomes and much more. The insights garnered have been invaluable. Through this process we have gotten a real-time look into the immediate needs of small businesses allowing us to cater our expertise accordingly and provide the appropriate support.

Through the panel results we have learned that:

  • 100% of our panelists who applied for a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program were approved and 99% are on their way to receiving full forgiveness.
  • 79% of our panelists would have run out of reserve funds in under 3 months if they did not receive relief funds.
  • 30% of the companies have seen some recovery in their revenue, 32% have rehired staff and 20% have actually hired for new positions.
  • 75% of respondents expect their local economy to take more than one year to recover from the pandemic
  • 81% of respondents expect it to take more than one year for the national economy to recover to pre-pandemic levels

The long-term goal of the Interise Small Business Panel is to build a nationally representative sample that accurately represents the voice of small businesses around the U.S. Our hope is that the panel will be of sufficient size to segment data by various socioeconomic characteristics, such as race, ethnicity, sex and by business characteristics including, industry, size of business (by revenue and employees), and location.

Interise is adding respondents to the panel on a quarterly basis and has been recruiting new respondents (in particular those who identify as people of color or as Hispanic or Latinx) from alumni and the small business population at large. The survey is sent out once a month and takes only 10 minutes to complete.

Amplifying the voices of small businesses matter.

If you are a like-minded organization working in the field and are interested in working with Interise on this important survey tool with us, please reach out to Nancy Lee, Director of Research and Evaluation at nlee@interise.org