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CAPE FEAR MEMORIAL BRIDGE: Updates, resources, and context

CoastLine: How Small Businesses Might Survive The COVID-19 Pandemic

A look at South Front Street in downtown Wilmington on April 3, 2020

The Coronavirus crisis has not left many sectors of the economy alone in its destruction – with the possible exception of manufacturers of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, face masks, ventilators and other items in short supply right now.  

One in four small businesses say they are two months or less from closing permanently due to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.   That’s according to a recent poll from MetLife and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  That same survey shows that one in ten small businesses are less than one month away from shutting down. 

But since Stay-At-Home orders have dropped in most states around the U.S., any business that can’t make a case for being an essential service has suspended operations.  Restaurants and bars are either closing altogether, or trying to figure out how to fill the revenue gap created by the loss of dine-in and drink-in customers. 

The Federal Government has appropriated money for economic relief, but the requirements for getting the aid change frequently, and so many people have rushed to claim it at the same time that there are reports of bank websites crashing. 

According to a statement from the North Carolina Bankers Association, additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program could come as early as Thursday, April 9th.  Senate Small Business Committee Chairman Marco Rubio says the need for the next round amounts to $200-$250 billion.


Heather McWhorter,Regional Center Director, Small Business and Technology Development Center,  University of North Carolina Wilmington

UNCW SBTDC Serviceshttp://www.sbtdc.org/services/

Ken Jernigan volunteers for SCORE – which is a national nonprofit network of expert business mentors that works with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).   Before he retired, Ken Jernigan served as Chief Financial Officer for a manufacturing company, and he has advised banks on corporate finance.  He also works part-time consultant for some of his former clients.

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 4 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.