Leaders of small business organizations in the state agree their members will be negatively impacted by coronavirus containment measures, but opinions are mixed on national legislation aimed at addressing the outbreak.
“They might be the first to suffer and get hurt,” said Wendy Baumann, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation. “They’re small; they don’t have huge reserves.”
She noted small businesses may face disruptions in their supply chains, a concern that was echoed by NFIB Wisconsin State Director Bill Smith.
“The big problem with the small business economy has been uncertainty,” he told WisBusiness.com. “What the coronavirus has done to Main Street is a whole new helping of uncertainty.”
He said small business owners in Wisconsin are concerned about how long the restrictions on public gathering and business closures might last, as well as the overall impact on the economy. He noted that 70 percent of U.S. economic growth is consumer-driven, so a lasting slowdown in consumer activity is “something to be worried about.”