Thought Leadership

Interise’s Recent Impact Report Show that Alumni Businesses Weather the Pandemic, Stronger than Ever

May 2023: Now that the most devastating effects of the pandemic are in our rearview mirror, our data analysis team has run some numbers on the effect the last three years has had on our alumni small businesses.

Small businesses are bouncing back

In aggregate, our community of alumni small businesses rebounded in the second year of the pandemic, especially as compared with 2020. Both the average and median revenue growth showed significant year-over-year increases.

Alumni businesses are hiring locally

Average and median responses reported an increase in local hiring. Latinx entrepreneurs reported the highest percentage of local hiring.

Pandemic racism hurt Asian American-owned businesses

Increased discrimination against Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities during the pandemic contributed to major declines in their business growth, funding, and livelihood in 2021, the second year of the pandemic.

Long-term contracts are shifting to local small businesses

During the pandemic, our respondents reported a very slight decline in securing new contracts. This decline can be primarily attributed to a reduction in federal contracts, but was balanced by increases in state government, anchor, and corporate contracts. Although there were fewer reported anchor contracts, the average value of contracts is trending upwards.

Recent Interise research has shown the importance of long-term contracts for small businesses looking to scale up. Long-term contracts with governments, corporations, and nonprofit anchor businesses (like universities or hospitals) allow our CEOs to plan with confidence, find the right staffing levels, and grow their businesses.

While the long-term economic effects of the pandemic are still playing out, our survey suggests that businesses that developed plans and strategies in our StreetWise MBA program are resilient, and once again on a growth trajectory.