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Research Publications > Reports > Estimating COVID-19’s Early Economic Impacts


In April 2020 much data suggested the economic effects of COVID-19 on small business ecosystems would be unprecedented. Our analysis early in the pandemic estimated the expected impact on small (employing 1-19) and medium-sized (employing 20-99) businesses in North Carolina. We estimated 141,877 smaller businesses and 1.38 million jobs across the state were in high-risk industry sectors like food service and retail. An input-output model illustrated how each closure or layoff by small businesses resulted in a substantial loss of earnings, jobs, and tax revenues. We recommended an evidence-based mix of short-term cash grants and long-term low-interest financing with partial loan forgiveness. Later analyses of macroeconomic data would largely confirm our results.

Why This Matters

Main Street businesses are the cornerstone of regional economic systems. Without innovative policy solutions, many small and medium-sized businesses will permanently close. This report and brief highlights the short and long-term impacts for North Carolina’s economy. Our recommended mix of cash grant aid and long-term loans was enacted by a variety of state and local governments.

Suggested Citation

McCall, Jamie. 2020. “Assessing the Economic Impacts of COVID-19 on North Carolina’s Small Business Community.” Carolina Small Business Development Fund. Raleigh, NC. https://doi.org/10.46712/covid19.economic.impacts.


Full Report | Brief/Summary


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