Saving Main Street in the Wake of COVID-19

By Sandy Fernandez, Director, North America Region and Avni Patel, Director, Content, Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth

As Americans are bracing for the health fallout from the COVID-19 outbreak, the nation’s Main Street businesses are fighting for their survival. Salon owners, event planners, shopkeepers and restaurants are being forced to make hard choices—pay their bills or their employees—and the workers who rely on them for their livelihoods face prolonged economic hardship.

Why saving small businesses matters

Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy. Under the most expansive definition, small businesses account for nearly half of the nation’s employees and almost 65 percent of new jobs created. Owning a small business is also associated with faster wealth-building. Since 1990, families in which the head of the household was self-employed—the majority of whom owned small businesses­—had a median net worth four times that, on average, of households in which the head worked for someone else.


This article was previously featured on Mastercard Centre for Inclusive Growth

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