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WalletHub Study: States With the Most Pandemic-Proof Small Businesses

With states gradually reopening but around 100,000 businesses having closed permanently during 2020, WalletHub today released its report on the States With the Most Pandemic-Proof Small Businesses, along with accompanying videos.

To identify the states where businesses have the greatest potential to recover, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 11 key metrics. Our data set ranges from the share of small businesses operating in highly affected industries to small-business credit conditions and the state’s small-business friendliness. Below, you can see highlights from WalletHub’s report and a Q&A with WalletHub analysts.

Pandemic-Proof Small Businesses in California (1=Best, 25=Avg.):

  • 27th – Share of Small Businesses Operating in High-Risk Industries
  • 30th – Share of Small-Business Employees Operating in High-Risk Industries Among Total Small-Business Employees
  • 30th – WalletHub’s “States Whose Weekly Unemployment Claims Are Recovering the Quickest” Score
  • 1st – Business Vitality
  • 12th – Average Annual Federal Small-Business Funding per GDP
  • 41st – Small-Business Credit Conditions
  • 10th – Total Amount of Small-Business Loans per Small-Business Employee

To view the full report and your state’s rank, please visit:

Q&A with WalletHub

What is the outlook for small businesses in the near future?

“Small businesses have a very positive outlook moving forward, largely because states are distributing the COVID-19 vaccine and rolling back restrictions as a result. Vaccination, combined with additional aid for small businesses in the most recent stimulus, declining COVID-19 cases and warmer weather, should result in greater business revenue in the coming months. Due to this increased revenue, businesses will be able to step up their hiring,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “The worst of the pandemic is behind us, and once businesses fully reopen, they should expect a boom in the coming years as a result of the pent-up demand from consumers.”

Why does Pennsylvania have the most pandemic-proof small businesses?

“One of the major reasons why Pennsylvania has the most pandemic-proof small businesses is that it has the lowest percentage of small-business employees operating in highly affected industries. Highly-affected industries only comprise 41 percent of all small-business employment in Pennsylvania, the lowest percentage in the U.S., too,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Other key reasons why Pennsylvania has the most pandemic-proof small businesses are that it has experienced the fourth quickest recovery of unemployment claims and it has the fourth largest share of small businesses who received financial assistance from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).”

Where does California rank when it comes to pandemic-proof small businesses, considering that the state has the most COVID-19 cases?

“California’s small businesses are the 21st most pandemic-proof,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Over 46 percent of small business employees in California work in highly affected industries, but it has the highest business survival rate in the country. WalletHub also rated California as the eighth most small-business friendly state in the nation.”

This article was released by WalletHub.

Editor’s Note: “Business Vitality” measures the 1-year survival rate of private sector establishments.