Mapped: The Uneven Recovery of U.S. Small Businesses
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Mapped: The Uneven Recovery of U.S. Small Businesses

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Mapped: The Uneven Recovery of U.S. Small Businesses

Mapped: The Uneven Recovery of U.S. Small Businesses

Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy, employing nearly half of the private sector workforce.

Unfortunately, lockdown and work-from-home measures brought about by COVID-19 have disproportionately affected small businesses – particularly in the leisure and hospitality sectors.

As metro-level data from Opportunity Insights points out, geography makes a great deal of difference in the proportion of U.S. small businesses that have flipped their open sign. While some cities are mostly back to business as usual, others are in a situation where the majority of small businesses are still shuttered.

The Big Picture

In the U.S. as a whole, data suggests that nearly a quarter of all small businesses remain closed. Of course, the situation on the ground differs from place to place. Here’s how cities around the country are doing, sorted by percentage of small businesses closed as of September 2020:

MetrosSmall Businesses ClosedSmall Businesses Closed (Leisure & Hosp.)
San Francisco-49%-65%
New Orleans-45%-72%
Honolulu-41%-39%
Washington DC-37%-55%
San Jose-35%-41%
Portland-34%-46%
San Antonio-34%-60%
Sacramento-33%-43%
Boston-33%-42%
Oakland-32%-52%
Austin-32%-65%
Bakersfield-31%-64%
Houston-30%-58%
Seattle-28%-47%
San Diego-28%-41%
Baltimore-28%-43%
Detroit-28%-44%
Los Angeles-27%-39%
Chicago-27%-37%
Tucson-27%-37%
Atlanta-26%-33%
Fresno-26%-50%
Oklahoma City-26%-56%
Cleveland-26%-39%
Denver-26%-56%
Indianapolis-25%-29%
Denver-25%-38%
El Paso-25%-34%
Philadelphia-24%-34%
Tulsa-23%-40%
Albuquerque-23%-42%
Colorado Springs-23%-37%
Louisville-23%-25%
Miami-23%-38%
Fort Worth-22%-34%
Las Vegas-22%-35%
Tampa-22%-45%
Milwaukee-22%-30%
New York City-21%-40%
Dallas-21%-38%
Memphis-21%-37%
Minneapolis-21%-36%
Nashville-21%-39%
Columbus-21%-35%
Phoenix-19%-36%
Jacksonville-18%-35%
Salt Lake City-18%-24%
Charlotte-18%-42%
Raleigh-16%-34%
Wichita-15%-29%
Kansas City-15%-24%
Omaha-13%-14%

New Orleans and the Bay Area are still experiencing rates of small business closures that are almost double the national median.

Small businesses in the leisure and hospitality sector have been particularly hard hit, with 37% reporting no transaction data.

Getting Back to Business

Some cities are seeing rates of small business operation that are nearing pre-pandemic levels.

Change in small businesses open by city - back to normal

Of the cities covered in the data set, Omaha had the highest rate of small businesses open.

Still Shuttered

In cities with a large technology sector, such as San Francisco and Austin, COVID-19 is shaking up the economic patterns as entire companies switched to remote working almost overnight. This is bad news for the constellation of restaurants and services that cater to those workers.

Change in small businesses open by city - still closed

Likewise, cities that have an economy built around serving visitors – Honolulu and New Orleans, for example – have seen a very high rate of small business closures as vacations and conferences have been paused indefinitely.

As the pandemic drags on, many of these temporary closures are looking to be permanent. Yelp recently reported that of the restaurants marked as closed on their platform, 61% are shut down permanently. As well, businesses in the retail and nightlife categories also saw more than half of closures become permanent.

In Remembrance of Revenue

A business being completely closed is a definitive measure, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Even for businesses that remained open, revenue is often far below pre-pandemic rates.

small businesses revenue covid-19

Once again, businesses in the leisure and hospitality sector have been hit the hardest, with revenue falling by almost half since the beginning of 2020.

At present, it’s hard to predict when, or even if, economic activity will completely recover. Though travel and some level of in-office work will eventually ramp back up, the small business landscape will continue to face major upheaval in the meantime.

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Technology

iPhone Now Makes Up the Majority of U.S. Smartphones

Apple’s flagship device has captured a modest 16% of the global market, and Android dominates globally. Why do so many Americans keep buying iPhones?

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iPhone Now Makes Up the Majority of U.S. Smartphones

One of the most iconic tech moments of the 21st century is Steve Jobs, in his signature black turtleneck, holding up a small device: the iPhone. Since that introduction at the 2007 Macworld conference in San Francisco, iPhone has gone on to become a global phenomenon, with over 1.2 billion units now sold around the world.

Today, the smartphone market is a fiercely competitive space.

On a global scale, iPhone has carved out a respectable 16% of the smartphone market. In the U.S., however, the iPhone has managed to win the hearts and minds of more consumers. New data from Counterpoint Research via FT notes that iPhones now make up 50% of the overall installed user base* in the United States.

With a plethora of smartphone brands available to American consumers—and many at lower price points—what is it that makes this brand so popular?

ℹ️ “Installed user base” is a particularly interesting statistic because it doesn’t just track devices that are sold over a given period, it looks at all the devices that are still in use.

 

iPhone: The Apple of America’s Eye

Experts point to a number of reasons why Apple’s flagship device outperforms in the U.S. compared to other markets.

  • Apple has the highest brand loyalty of any major smartphone maker. 9 in 10 U.S. iPhone users plan to purchase an iPhone as their next device.
  • iPhones appear to depreciate at a slower rate than other devices
  • Broadly speaking, consumers in the U.S. have less price sensitivity than consumers in many other countries.
  • Apple has been vocal in their messaging about protecting user privacy and data, and that message appears to be resonating with consumers.

This last point is worth digging into in more detail.

Winning the Privacy War

Personal data protection and cybersecurity have become mainstream concerns in recent years, and Apple has made security a priority.

Of course, security breaches can and do occur, regardless of what device is being used. That said, a recent survey by Beyond Identity indicates that iPhone users were less likely to be victims of security breaches, and were more likely to recover data in the event of a breach.

Infographic showing survey data on security breaches and severity

The survey also points out that iPhone users were less likely to have sensitive data, such as images and videos, credit card information, passwords, and personal data compromised when breaches occurred.

These findings aside, Apple has also been bullish on branding its devices as safe and secure. The “Privacy. That’s iPhone.” campaign launched in 2019, and most recently, Apple has put the data broker industry in its crosshairs through a new series of ad spots.

Simply put: whether or not iPhone is more secure than other devices, Apple has used its marketing muscle to sway public opinion at a time when Americans are focused on privacy. And based on these latest installed user base numbers, that strategy appears to be paying off.

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Misc

The Most Searched Consumer Brands in 2022

From Netflix to IKEA, this map of the world highlights the most searched for consumer brands around the world.

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The Most Searched Consumer Brands in 2022

View the high resolution of this infographic by clicking here.

In today’s fast-paced world, a strong brand is a powerful asset that helps a business stand out in a sea of competition.

What are some of the most popular brands around the world? One way to gauge this is by looking at Google searches to see what consumers are searching for online (and therefore, what brands they’re paying the most attention to).

This graphic by BusinessFinancing.co.uk uses data from Google Keyword Planner to show the world’s most searched consumer brands in the twelve months leading up to March 2022.

Methodology

To source this wide of a dataset, the team at BusinessFinancing.co.uk first compiled a list of well-known brands, using a number of reputable sources including Forbes, the Financial Times, BrandDirectory, and more.

From there, the team created a shortlist of popular consumer brands. This year, they focused on businesses that sell products and services, so some of the big tech companies like Google and Meta were excluded from the 2022 ranking.

Next, the team used Google Ads API to extract search volume data for the shortlisted brands. They looked at a couple of things:

  • The monthly average of searches over the last 12 months for the brand name alone (e.g. “Nike”)
  • Brand name with the corresponding sector added to the keyword (“Nike clothing”), which helped offset the skew in search volume for generic terms like “Apple” or “Amazon”

They did this for every country in the world with data available. Here’s what they found.

The Top 5 Most Searched Brands

While Netflix is the most frequently searched brand in the highest number of countries (92), Amazon takes the top spot when it comes to total search volume.

Here’s a look at the top five most search brands by average global monthly searches:

BrandAverage global monthly searches (March 2022)# Countries Most-Searched In
Amazon335,400,00042
Netflix140,200,00092
eBay80,600,0006
Walmart76,100,0002
IKEA55,300,00014

But a brand’s search popularity doesn’t necessarily reflect that the business is thriving. For instance, in April 2022, Netflix announced it had lost around 200,000 subscribers throughout Q1.

The week of the announcement, Netflix’s stock price dipped below $200—the lowest it had been since 2017.

Smartphones

Apple and its iPhone take the top spot when it comes to smartphone searches, which may be unsurprisingly considering the top five best-selling smartphones in 2021 were all iPhones.

Most Searched Smartphones 2022
View the high resolution of this infographic by clicking here.

It’s worth noting that the top five best-selling smartphones only capture a fraction of the overall smartphone market, and while iPhones are undeniably popular, they only make up 16.7% of worldwide smartphone sales.

Gaming

Epic Games, the creator and platform of Fortnite, maintains its status as the most searched-for gaming brand worldwide, with an average of 14.9 million global monthly searches.

Most Searched Gaming Brands 2022
View the high resolution of this infographic by clicking here.

No other gaming company came close to Epic Game’s search volume. For instance, Nintendo, which came in second place, only averaged 3.2 million searches a month.

However, Nintendo still managed to generate more than $16 billion in revenue throughout 2021, triple the gross revenue that Epic Games made the same year.

Fast Food

KFC was the most searched fast-food company in more than 83 countries, making it the most popular worldwide.

most popular brands by search volume fast food
View the high resolution of this infographic by clicking here.

However, it’s worth noting that, while McDonald’s ranked first in fewer countries, it had a higher global monthly search average than its fried chicken competitor.

In 2021, KFC generated approximately $2.79 billion in global revenue, while McDonald’s brought in $23.2 billion.

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