Indiana Small Employers are in Crisis, Half Will Have to Shut Down in Less than 2 Months Without Help

Date: April 08, 2020

Nearly 100% of Indiana Small Business Owners Impacted by Coronavirus, Some Doing Good in the Face of Crisis

The NFIB Research Center’s latest survey on the current impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on small business shows continued deterioration of the small business sector. The severity of the outbreak and regulatory measures that cities and states are taking to control it are having a devastating impact on small businesses.

Currently, 92% of small employers are negatively impacted by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, a continued escalation from 76% of small employers reporting negative impacts 10 days earlier. About 3% are positively impacted. These firms are likely experiencing stronger sales due to a sharp rise in demand for certain products, goods, and services. This will likely ease in the coming weeks as consumers feel more secure about their personal supply levels.

“I know from speaking to Hoosier members that you are hungry for advice. Here’s the best advice I can offer to you today: If you are planning to file for funding, do so now,” says NFIB State Director in Indiana, Barbara Quandt. Applications for the Paycheck Protection Program recently passed by Congress can be filled out starting Friday. NFIB is urging all members who are afraid their small business will run out of money quickly to file as soon as possible.

However, there are some positive stories to come out of the coronavirus outbreak. In Pittsboro, Fleece Performance Engineering, a leading manufacturer of aftermarket automotive performance products, has redeployed its engineers. They have converted some of their manufacturing space and have developed, tested and are now producing a Disposable Full Face Shield for medical professionals who are running short on this form of personal protection equipment nationwide. 

Nurses model the Disposable Face Shield before starting their shift. 


The patent pending Disposable Full Face Shield protects the wearer from splashing or spraying, and is produced on-site from optically clear lightweight polyethylene. The face shield can be worn over glasses and N95 surgical masks. The face shield has already undergone evaluation at a local hospital where an order for 600 pieces has since been delivered.



“As Americans in this critical time we must do what we can to adapt, innovate, and overcome the current pandemic”, said Brayden Fleece, President of Fleece Performance Engineering. “With the team and resources at our fingertips, this project was something we had the expertise to act quickly on and provide the immediate support needed by medical professionals nationwide”.  Fleece is currently able to produce 500 shields per single shift and has lined up the supply chain and tooling partners to begin producing over 100,000 units per day.  

Almost all small employers are now impacted by economic disruptions related to COVID-19. Only 5% of small businesses are not currently affected by the outbreak. Of these businesses, 44% of them anticipate that changing if the outbreak spreads to, or spreads more broadly in, their immediate area over the next 3 months.

Among negatively impacted small employers, 80% report slower sales, 31% are experiencing supply chain disruptions, and 23% report concerns over sick employees.

How long can small businesses continue to operate under current conditions? About half of small employers say they can survive for no more than two months, and about one-third believe they can remain operational for 3-6 months. Not surprisingly, many small business owners are anxious to access financial support through the new small business loan program to help alleviate some of the financial pressures building up. About 13% of small employers are not as severely impacts and expect to remain open indefinitely.

Almost all small business owners are taking some sort of action in response to the outbreak by adjusting to changing economic conditions or protecting themselves from potential disruption. Just 5% of owners have not taken any action in response to the outbreak, a marked departure from more than half (52%) not taking action three weeks ago. Actions taken by most small employers are those related to recommended CDC steps to protect and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace including talking to employees about hand washing and social distancing, and disinfecting and cleaning offices and workplaces more frequently.  Another 56% have scaled down or adjusted business operations, and 26% have delayed payments to creditors.

The level of concern among small business owners about the coronavirus impacting their business has elevated significantly over the past three weeks. About 72% of small business owners are “very” concerned about its potential impact on their business now compared to 16% on March 10th. Another 22% are somewhat concerned, and 6% are slightly concerned. Just 1% are not at all concerned.

Due to escalating financial stress on the small business sector, more small businesses are talking with their bank about financing needs than was the case 10 days ago. About 29% of small employers have talked with someone at their bank or with the Small Business Administration about finance options, and 23% are planning to do so soon. Another 38% of small employers have not, and do not, intend to do so.

The CARES Act includes new small business loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Almost two-thirds of small employers plan to apply for the loan. The PPP is another targeted loan assistance program to help small businesses weather the rapidly changing economic crisis.   

The vast majority of small businesses are now impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, and owners are taking the threat to their business seriously. Many owners have already sought out financial help and more are planning to do so in the near future. The outbreak has left few, if any, owners unscathed. The economic impact is immense, and now, the questions are how long will it last and how quickly can the small business sector recover once on the other side.



This survey was conducted with a random sample of NFIB’s membership database of about 300,000 small business owners. The survey was conducted by email on March 30, 2020. NFIB collected 1,172 usable responses, all small employers with 1-465 employees. 

Subscribe For Free News And Tips

Enter your email to get FREE small business insights. Learn more

Get to know NFIB

NFIB is a member-driven organization advocating on behalf of small and independent businesses nationwide.

Learn More

Or call us today

© 2001 - 2022 National Federation of Independent Business. All Rights Reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy