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COVID-19 and Small Businesses: Uneven Patterns by Race and Income

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in one of the sharpest recessions and recoveries in US history. This post illustrates variances in small business activity across counties that differed by income and race. The decline in revenue was perceptibly deeper in high-income counties and in majority-minority counties in the initial weeks of the pandemic. As the economy recovered, the recovery was sharper in low-income counties and majority-nonminority counties. These differences are consistent with differential experience with unemployment assistance and stimulus checks along with different abilities to save and differences in access to Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.