Economist and Sturgeon Bay Mayor David Ward says that small businesses will feel the pinch from the current economic situation more so than larger competitors. Ward says they do not have the financial options to bridge a shutdown like corporations.
The Economic Policy Institute says 20 million jobs could be lost by the summer. Researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, one of 12 district banks that set monetary policy for the country, say the number could be as high as 47 million by the end of June. On the low end, that would mark the worst unemployment rate in the post-World War II era for the United States. Wisconsin has had over 100,000 unemployment claims filed each of the past two weeks. That compares to around 5,200 applications per week this time last year. With many large corporations hiring as small businesses lay off employees, including Wal-Mart, they can be picky with who they add to their organizations. Small businesses face the prospect of having their best talent hired away by entities that already enjoyed competitive advantages against mom-and-pop shops. That could blunt their ability to participate in the eventual recovery.