The Impact of COVID-19 on Small Business Activity and Employment

André Kurmann

André Kurmann, a Professor of Economics at Drexel University, shares research conducted with his peers, Etienne Lalé (Université du Québec à Montréal) and Lien Ta (Drexel University).

Their study examines small business dynamics and employment in relation to COVID-19 in an attempt to understand how small businesses have been impacted in comparison to larger corporations. They also point out that the pandemic has shown the need for timely, high-frequency estimates that can inform policy decisions, which can only be made possible from rich analytics.

New openings drive employment recovery after small business closures

When examining the employment change in small businesses, they see that COVID-19 and related closures led to significant unemployment. However, we also see that as time goes on and recovery begins, businesses reopen and new businesses start up, supplanting a significant number of lost businesses.

While the correlation does not show a full recovery, it shows a trend towards recovering employment decreases, and that new openings help drive recovery significantly.

How SafeGraph enabled research on small business closures and reopenings

SafeGraph’s point of interest (POI) and foot traffic data enabled this analysis with clear information on locations and visits to these places. With confidence in the location and mobility data at their disposal, researchers can create powerful data visualizations for deep analysis.

To learn more about how SafeGraph enabled this research and share ideas with other users, join the SafeGraph community!

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