New COVID-19 restrictions cast a bigger shadow over small business

Posted at 8:42 PM, Nov 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-17 23:26:39-05

BALTIMORE — The Governor's Tuesday announcement about more statewide COVID-19 restrictions, was another massive blow for already struggling small businesses.

With Coronavirus numbers reaching record highs, small businesses which are staples of our communities are struggling more than ever.

The trickle-down effect— half of the work force is employed by small businesses.

“Nobody wants to make sure their employees customers and clients are safer than the small business owner them-self,” said Mike O’Halloran. “Today’s announcement it’s going to be a tough pill to swallow for so many small businesses.”

O’Halloran is the Maryland Director of the National Federation of Independent Business.

Working with thousands of small businesses in Maryland he’s seen first-hand how the pandemic has destroyed the industry.

“Half of borrowers who received financial aid through the federal governments PPP, the paycheck protection program,” said O’Halloran. “Half of them are saying they are going to need more money if the economic conditions don’t improve.”

Even before the pandemic battling against chain stores and online shopping made it difficult.

With the holidays coming up and restrictions on how late bars and restaurants can stay open— he anticipates less of a rush of people shopping and eating out.

“Their hours are getting cutback perhaps that is. The fact they have to limit how many customers get in the door and check out their merchandise, it’s going to be real tough. Hopefully we don’t even slide back further and force them into a curbside pickup or delivery only because that also adds cost at the worst possible time.”

While relief from the first round of stimulus and other funding has helped— the gridlock on a second deal is crushing business as they fight to survive.

It’s something Governor Hogan continues to address, calling on Congress to stop playing politics and start servings millions of struggling Americans.

“75% of them are telling us that they don’t expect economic conditions to improve until sometime next year,” said O’Halloran. “There is another group of small businesses owners who don’t expect things to improve until 2022. I gotta tell you as a small business owner that is devastating”

If you’re thinking right now, what’s the best thing I can do?

Call your local shops ask them what their options are for pickup or delivery from their store.