Home > Featured > Small-business gloom deepens in Nevada

Small-business gloom deepens in Nevada

By John Seelmeyer
Published: Last Updated on

Nearly 40 percent of Nevada small-business owners think their companies won’t return to normal for at least six months, and another 6 percent think that business never will return to its pre-pandemic levels.

And gloom is rising steadily among business owners who participate in a weekly survey undertaken by the U.S. Census Bureau. 

The most recent survey — which was undertaken in the week of May 10 — found that 39.5 percent of Nevada business owners are hunkering down for a long recovery.  Just two weeks earlier, 30.8 percent of the survey participants were expecting that an economic rebound would require at least six months.

Another 24 percent of Nevada small-business owners surveyed most recently don’t expect a recovery for at least four months — pushing a rebound into the autumn. 

Many businesses can’t hold out that long.

Only 19 percent of the business surveyed by the Census Bureau said they have enough cash to cover three or more months of business expenses.  Seven percent said they have so little cash that they can’t cover even a week’s worth of expenses, and another 8 percent would be in trouble after two weeks.

Eleven percent already have missed loan payments since pandemic-related closures were ordered in mid-March, and about 20 percent say they’ve missed some other types of payments such as rent or bills from suppliers.

On the other hand, about 8 percent of small businesses in Nevada — one in 12 — report that the pandemic hasn’t had much effect on their business at all.

A Brewers Cabinet bartender delivers food curbside as part of the business's current model. Image: Eric Marks
Brewers Cabinet bartender and server Brent Ross delivers curbside orders for customers who call ahead. Image: Eric Marks

Even though business conditions are terrible for a majority of small businesses in Nevada, a growing number of business owners say they’re beginning to see some stability.

In the most recent Census Bureau survey in Nevada, some 60.6 percent of business owners said their revenues fell during the week of May 10-16.  That’s not great, but it’s an improvement from two weeks earlier, when 71 percent of business said sales had fallen.

Options are few for most businesses.  Nearly 95 percent said they haven’t pivoted into other types of business, although the number who say that they’ve converted into pickup, carry-out, delivery or curbside business models has been running a little over 10 percent each week that the Census Bureau has conducted its survey.

A large majority of Nevada employers — nearly 74 percent — said they hadn’t laid off workers in the week of May 10, and 6.7 percent said they’d even added staff during the week.

About 79 percent of owners of small businesses said they’ve sought some type help since business fell off a cliff two months ago.  They’ve filed for federal assistance, applied for bank loans, asked for help from family and friends or dug into their own pockets to keep businesses afloat.

Two-thirds of the businesses surveyed in mid-May said they’ve received some type of federal assistance.

Related Stories