New Report Gauges Government Pandemic Response, Offers Guidance for Business and Policy Next Steps

Friday June 26, 2020

The quarterly Trends in Entrepreneurship Report, which outlines emerging trends amid and in response to the ongoing crises across the U.S., explores the disproportionate effects of COVID-19 on Black-owned firms and provides a review of the pandemic’s impact on the business thus far as well as insights for policymakers, business leaders and entrepreneurs moving forward.

(Chapel Hill, N.C. – June 23, 2020) COVID-19 has drastically changed our world, and new data are just beginning to illuminate the full scope of the pandemic’s impact on business.

The quarterly Trends in Entrepreneurship Report, produced by the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise and its affiliated Entrepreneurship Center, began with an aim to examine the efficacy of governmental efforts to buoy businesses through the pandemic.

“With a broad definition of what constitutes a ‘small business,’ one significant challenge for the government has been ensuring stimulus funds get into the hands of desired recipients,” said Entrepreneurship Executive Director Vickie Gibbs. “It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach.”

She added the report explores the various federal, state and local responses to the pandemic, as well as which efforts have been most effective and how those successes might inform future action.  

Kenan Institute Executive Director Greg Brown said that while the jury’s still out on the long-term economic effects of the crisis, the report “provides direction to business leaders, entrepreneurs, ecosystem partners and policymakers on how they can work proactively to mitigate that impact.”

One repercussion many are eager to address is how unevenly the COVID-19 pandemic has affected different populations, with the report finding the crisis could have lasting negative effects on Black-owned businesses.

With a 41 percent drop in Black-owned businesses from February to April compared with just a 17 percent drop in white-owned businesses, CREATE Executive Director Mark Little says it’s time the public and private sectors “re-evaluate their roles in creating and maintaining barriers to Black business success, and work collectively to remove those barriers.”

The quarterly Trends in Entrepreneurship Report is a timely update of the January-released inaugural Trends in Entrepreneurship Report, which highlights ongoing research on the most pressing issues in entrepreneurship.


About the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

The Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise develops and promotes innovative, market-based solutions to vital economic issues.  With the belief that private enterprise is the cornerstone of a prosperous and free society, the institute fosters the entrepreneurial spirit to stimulate economic prosperity and improve the lives of people in North Carolina, across the country and around the world. Learn more at

About the UNC Entrepreneurship Center

The Entrepreneurship Center creates a better world by inspiring, motivating and developing entrepreneurial leaders from diverse backgrounds who can recognize opportunities and solve complex problems that lead to positive social change. We achieve this by connecting our world-class research with our exceptional hands-on teaching and practice. Learn more at