States With the Most Pandemic-Proof Small Businesses

By Adam McCann, Financial Writer, WalletHub

Coronavirus dealt a heavy blow to small businesses in the U.S., as countless businesses were forced by state governments to shut their doors for months on end or have heavy capacity restrictions. Though states are gradually reopening and loosening restrictions, around 100,000 businesses shut their doors permanently in 2020. Businesses in some states have been more resilient than others, though.

In order to find out where small businesses have the greatest potential to bounce back after the COVID-19 pandemic, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 11 key metrics. Our data set ranges from the share of small businesses operating in high-risk industries to small-business credit conditions and the state’s small-business friendliness.Table of ContentsMain FindingsDetailed FindingsAsk the ExpertsMethodology

Main Findings

States With the Most Pandemic-Proof Small Businesses 

Overall Rank StateTotal ScoreImpact & Access to Resources Small-Business Financial Conditions Business Environment & Workforce Support 
1Pennsylvania74.934176
2Arkansas70.595385
3Missouri70.4323632
4North Dakota70.2611188
5Minnesota69.49132011
6Illinois68.6683020
7Michigan68.49171515
8Ohio68.181649
9Wisconsin67.73141930
10Kansas67.1894219
11District of Columbia66.4435131
12Louisiana66.0164138
13Iowa65.7474435
14Maryland65.39251218
15New Jersey64.8122337
16Nebraska64.22203410
17Alabama62.69151147
18Indiana62.59122943
19Oklahoma62.56104541
20Kentucky62.51193526
21California62.0428928
22Connecticut61.9629219
23North Carolina61.67272713
24Delaware61.3632512
25Mississippi59.89212842
26Massachusetts59.6231239
27Texas59.46163146
28Tennessee57.93234740
29Oregon57.10302534
30West Virginia56.73184844
31Vermont56.7242142
32New Hampshire56.624533
33Utah55.9434836
34South Dakota55.0040261
35Georgia54.61243748
36Arizona53.46362325
37Florida52.77334337
38Maine52.72412414
39Wyoming52.0535494
40Virginia51.64261351
41New York51.11394016
42New Mexico50.87471622
43Alaska50.37373923
44Washington50.02432233
45South Carolina50.02384617
46Rhode Island49.6848721
47Idaho49.56443227
48Colorado48.1646145
49Montana48.15501024
50Hawaii36.3151429
51Nevada33.21495050

Note: With the exception of “Total Score,” all of the columns in the table above depict the relative rank of that state, where a rank of 1 represents the best conditions for that metric category.

artwork 2021 covid small business

Ask the Experts

It’s natural for business owners to be worried during the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to provide insight on what they, and governing authorities, can do to weather the crisis, WalletHub turned to a panel of experts. Click on the experts below to read their bios and see their responses to the following key questions:

  1. What are the most important steps a small business can take to survive in the current conditions?
  2. Will the Small Business Administration loan programs be effective enough as a response to the COVID-19 crisis? 
  3. What will be the long-term implications to small business as a result of the COVID-19 crisis? Are the current measures enough to mitigate the impact? 
  4. According to a recent survey, 55% of small businesses expect long-term challenges caused by the pandemic. Will the 2021 COVID-19 relief packages aid still-struggling small businesses?
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