Women-owned businesses may take 3 times longer to recover from COVID, new research says

SPOKANE, Wash. — According to Freshbooks data collection and surveys, female entrepreneurs may see a longer recovery period from COVID.

The study was conducted using aggregated, proprietary data collected in the U.S. with an online survey of over 2,200 people. After looking at invoice revenue reports from all industries for men and women business owners, men experienced a shorter dip in business compared to women, leading to the statistic that women-owned businesses will take three times longer to recover. Dallas Barbee owns The Morning After Company and has felt the sting of COVID closures firsthand.

“All the changes that are happening continually have been really hard for us. Every single time there’s a change, it costs us more money — money that we don’t have,” Barbee said.

She didn’t qualify for PPP money and was unsuccessful earning any grant assistance after applying to 30 small business grants. However, she’s committed to seeing this pandemic through till the end, no matter how long it takes her to recover.

“Three times as long… I’ll wait. I’ll sit right here, and I’ll wait,” Barbee said.

Other women entrepreneurs are also concerned about their future moving forward. Freshbooks survey also found that only 23% of women think their businesses will bounce back immediately. 18% think it’ll take less than 6 months. 38% say it’ll be 6 months to a year, and 21% don’t think their companies will recover for over a year.

Barbee never thought she’d become a business owner but now feels the responsibility of keeping hope alive for her four employees. She says every day she can open her doors is something she doesn’t take for granted.

“We literally go day to day. We don’t know what tomorrow looks like. All we know is today I can unlock the door. Today, I can invite two people at a time inside, and today we will take really good care of these people,” Barbee said.

To keep this hope alive, she says she puts her trust in someone greater than her to keep The Morning After open for years to come.

“I have a really strong faith in Jesus. As long as He’s got His hand on what we’re doing, then we’re not going anywhere,” Barbee said.

On Monday, Spokane moves to Phase 2 in the state’s re-opening plan. However, this doesn’t affect the beauty industry which will still have to operate at 25% capacity.