SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- Facebook on Thursday released its third edition of Global State of Small Business Report, a research collaboration with the World Bank and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that provides monthly updates on how small businesses are operating amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
From surveying an additional 25,000 small businesses across more than 50 countries and regions in July, the report found that while small businesses continued to reopen, many still reported lower sales and sustained reductions in employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Financial challenges overtook lockdown orders as the primary reason for the closure of surveyed small businesses.
Many small businesses saw the benefits of shifting to e-commerce, the report said.
Businesses that reported making over 25 percent of their sales online were more likely to report higher sales than this time last year, and less likely to have reduced their number of employees as a result of the pandemic, compared to businesses that made less than 25 percent of their sales online.
A total of 48 percent of consumers surveyed reported an increase in online spending since the outbreak of COVID-19, and 40 percent of respondents said they increased their use of social media and online messaging for product and business recommendations.
Of those surveyed who started shopping at new businesses since COVID-19, 73 percent said that at least one of those new businesses was a small business, while 31 percent of respondents said they plan to increase their spending with small, local businesses when the COVID-19 pandemic is over.