Sales at small businesses held steady for the third consecutive week, with a slight 1.9% week-over-week increase. Transaction counts were also steady, up by 0.7%.
Of all the small businesses we track in this report, Services is the only category that grew last week, up 4.2% week-over-week.
The CardFlight Small Business Impact Report is intended to provide insights into the impacts of coronavirus/COVID-19 on small businesses across the United States. The report has been featured in and/or cited by The Atlantic, Bloomberg TV, Business Insider, Digital Transactions, PaymentsJournal, PaymentsSource, and others.
Learn more about the report and our methodology.
First, we examine how coronavirus/COVID-19 is affecting small business sales by analyzing change in overall sales, number of transactions per business, and more.
Week-over-week sales at the small businesses in our sample were relatively unchanged for the third week in a row— up 1.9% over the preceding week. Overall sales are now more than 20% above the pre-COVID baseline week of March 2–8, 2020.
The total number of transactions in our sample were up by 0.7% over the previous week. The number of transactions the small businesses in our sample processed last week are above the pre-COVID baseline by more than 12%.
The number of active small businesses (measured as all businesses who processed at least one transaction in the previous week) in our sample grew by 1.3% from June 22–28 compared to the preceding week. The number of active merchants is now just 2.1% below the pre-COVID baseline.
The average number of transactions per active merchant was down by 0.6% last week. This metric is now about 15% above the pre-COVID baseline week of March 2–8, 2020.
The payments industry has two broad categories for transactions based on where they occur.
At the onset of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, card-present sales decreased at a faster rate than card-not-present sales. That trend ended around the week of April 6–12, when card-present sales began to slowly gain ground week-over-week, ending the week of June 22–28 up nearly 10% over the baseline week.
Next, we'll examine how coronavirus/COVID-19 is changing the manner by which consumers pay for their goods in-person. The three ways US consumers typically use credit and debit cards for in-person transactions are:
Since magnetic stripe payments are a relatively low proportion of our payment volume, we're focusing on chip cards and contactless tap. We continue to see that overall, growth in sales made via contactless payment methods are outpacing those made via EMV chip.
While payments made via EMV chip are now up more than 4% over their pre-COVID baseline levels, contactless payment methods are up by more than 78%.
In this section of the CardFlight Small Business Impact Report, we take a closer look at small business performance by business category.
Sales at Food and Drink businesses were down 3.7% last week, but remain more than 17% above the pre-COVID baseline of March 2–8, 2020. Meanwhile, transaction counts fell by 3.7% week-over-week, but remain nearly 29% above the baseline for the fourth week in a row.
Sales at the Retail businesses in our sample were down slightly last week, and are now nearly 12% above the pre-COVID baseline.
Transaction counts in the Retail category were virtually unchanged last week — up 1%, and are now 3.3% below the baseline overall.
Sales at businesses in the Services category increased by 4.2% last week, and are now up more than 17% over the pre-COVID baseline.
Transaction counts in the Services category increased slightly, up 0.4% week-over-week, and are now more than 2% above the baseline week.
The CardFlight Small Business Impact Report is intended to provide insights into the impacts of coronavirus/COVID-19 on small businesses across the United States. The report and the data within have been featured in The Atlantic, Bloomberg TV, Business Insider, Digital Transactions, PaymentsJournal, PaymentsSource, and others.
The report is based on analysis of a representative sample of more than two million transactions processed by more than 60,000 small businesses who use CardFlight’s SwipeSimple software to accept credit and debit card payments.
To create this report, we analyzed a representative sample of millions of transactions processed by:
This report can be useful in understanding the impact of COVID-19 on small businesses at a hyper-local perspective and across the US. For up-to-date data regarding shifts in consumer spending among local businesses, impacts across different industries, and across cities and states, access the most recent report.
The typical SwipeSimple merchant has one to ten employees and less than five locations or mobile service points. The average active merchant represented in this data set processes approximately $130,000 in credit/debit card payments annually. The merchants are a mix of professional and personal service providers, specialty retail establishments, and food and drink purveyors.