• California, Wisconsin, Virginia, Michigan and Illinois have the most help available for small businesses
  • Idaho, Nevada, West Virginia and Wyoming provide no help
  • FEMA says 40% of businesses don't reopen after a disaster

Small businesses across the United States forced to close amid the coronavirus pandemic are getting more help from some states than others in trying to get back on their feet, a survey by Best Accounting Software indicated Tuesday. Some 30.2 million small businesses employ 58.9 million people and make up 99.9% of all businesses in the country.

A Gallup poll published last month indicates more than half of U.S. adults are spending less – the greatest percentage to say so in a decade. Federal economic statistics appear to back that up. The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported last week consumer spending was off 13.6% in April, the steepest drop since 1959, while the savings rate hit a record 33%.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency reports 40% of businesses do not reopen after a disaster and 25% fail within one year. Against that backdrop, prospects for the economy getting back to normal swiftly from the coronavirus-mandated shutdowns appeared dim despite the billions of dollars the federal government has poured into Small Business Administration loans.

Best Accounting Software’s survey found only 26 states have or had loans available for small businesses, with four states – Idaho, Nevada, West Virginia and Wyoming – providing no help at all.

The five states providing the most help for small businesses were California, Wisconsin, Virginia, Michigan and Illinois.

California has allocated $50 million to a Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program and two other programs help small businesses secure financing. Thirty other loans are available through cities and counties. The state also extended deadlines for taxes, and local governments have the ability to ban commercial evictions.

Wisconsin has 13 local loan and grant programs available, including $2,500 grants for businesses and $3,000 rental assistance grants.

Thirty-three loans and grants are available in Virginia, including $3,000 forgivable loans to companies employing three to 30 people.

Michigan has five loan and grant programs while Illinois has two, one geared toward restaurants and other hospitality-related businesses that have suffered the brunt of coronavirus closings.

The greatest percentages of small businesses receiving federal paycheck protection loans from the SBA were in the central states, with North Dakota leading the way, followed by South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas. Small businesses in Hawaii, Louisiana, Nevada, Washington and California had the highest percentages of SBA disaster loans.