Economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on entrepreneurship and small businesses

Maksim Belitski*, Christina Guenther, Alexander S. Kritikos, Roy Thurik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

199 Citations (Scopus)
406 Downloads (Pure)


The existential threat to small businesses, based on their crucial role in the economy, is behind the plethora of scholarly studies in 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Examining the 15 contributions of the special issue on the “Economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on entrepreneurship and small businesses,” the paper comprises four parts: a systematic review of the literature on the effect on entrepreneurship and small businesses; a discussion of four literature strands based on this review; an overview of the contributions in this special issue; and some ideas for post-pandemic economic research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-609
Number of pages17
JournalSmall Business Economics
Issue number2
Early online date12 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

JEL classifications: C14, H43, L25, L26, J68

Funding Information:
The study of Fairlie and Fossen (), “Did the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program Get Disbursed to Minority Communities in the Early Stages of COVID-19?,” examines the effect of the US federal government response to help small businesses—the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the related Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). The program’s stated goal is helping disadvantaged groups. The authors provide the first detailed analysis of how the 2020 PPP and EIDL funds were disbursed across minority communities in the country. The authors find a positive relationship between PPP loan receipt per business and the minority share of the population or businesses, although funds flowed to minority communities later than to communities with lower minority shares. This study acknowledges the importance of financial support through PPP loans of minority communities as a share of the population. The important evidence is that the EIDL program, both in numbers per business and amounts per employee, was positively distributed to minority communities. This is the first study about how loans and advances from these programs were distributed between minority and non-minority communities.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


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