With 35 percent of small business owners saying their business cannot survive more than three months in current conditions, WalletHub released its report on the States with the Most Affected Small Businesses due to Coronavirus, along with accompanying videos.

To identify the states in which businesses are hit hardest by COVID-19, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 12 key metrics. Our data set ranges from the share of small businesses operating in highly affected industries to small-business credit conditions and the state’s small-business friendliness. Below, you can see highlights from WalletHub’s report and a Q&A with WalletHub analysts.

States with Most Affected Businesses

1. Hawaii

2. Nevada

3. South Dakota

4. Mississippi

5. South Carolina

6. Louisiana

7. Arizona

8. Nebraska

9. North Carolina

10. North Dakota

Key Stats

  • Hawaii has the highest share of small-business employees operating in highly affected industries, 57.66 percent, which is 1.5 times higher than in Pennsylvania, the state with the lowest at 38.59 percent.
  • Wyoming has the lowest share of businesses with e-commerce sales activity, 9.60 percent, which is 1.8 times lower than in the District of Columbia, the highest at 17.20 percent.
  • The District of Columbia has the highest share of loans to small businesses that are more than 30 days past due but less than 91 days past due, 7.40 percent, which is 12.5 times higher than in South Dakota, the state with the lowest at 0.59 percent.
  • Hawaii has the highest total dollar amount of small business loans per small business employee, $5,616, which is 2.3 times higher than in the District of Columbia, the lowest at $2,449.
  • South Carolina has the lowest share of eligible small businesses receiving SBA loans, 4.63 percent, which is 3.5 times lower than in Utah, the state with the highest at 16.27 percent.

To view the full report and your state’s rank, please visit:

Q&A with WalletHub

Why are Hawaii’s businesses most affected by the coronavirus pandemic?
“Some of the major reasons why Hawaii’s small businesses are most affected by the coronavirus pandemic are that over half of them are in highly affected industries, and those businesses comprise 58 percent of all small-business employment,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Another key reason is that even prior to the coronavirus epidemic, new businesses in Hawaii had one of the lowest survival rates in the country.”

How have small businesses in New York been affected, considering that the state has the most COVID-19 cases?
“New York’s small businesses are the 30th most affected by coronavirus,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Over 43 percent of small business employees in New York work in highly affected industries, and only a small fraction of New York merchants conducted business online before the pandemic. Just consider the tens of thousands of restaurants and corner stores that operate in New York City alone. WalletHub also rated New York state as one of the least small-business friendly states in the nation.”

How can business owners best take advantage of the stimulus?
“One big way that business owners can take advantage of the stimulus is to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program, which allows businesses with 500 or fewer employees to take out loans that will help them keep employees on the payroll or even hire more. The best part is that up to 100% of these loans may be forgiven,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “However, businesses should be proactive, as loans are offered on a first come, first served basis. In addition, it’s important to make sure that your business qualifies, as there are different stipulations from different banks.”