WASHINGTON, Jan. 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Small business owners feel only "somewhat prepared" for a potential economic downturn, according to new data gathered by SCORE, mentors to America's small businesses. Data shows that the U.S. economy is strong, but slowing; and, while 75% of small business owners rated their company's cash flow as "good" or "very good" in 2019, 67% of small business owners anticipate an economic downturn or recession in the next 12 months.

Most small business owners feel only "somewhat" financially prepared for a potential economic downturn:


  • 24% of business owners feel very prepared.
  • 62% feel somewhat prepared.
  • 13% feel not very prepared.
  • 1% feel not at all prepared.

Small business owners anticipate a potential economic downturn or recession in the next 12 months:

  • 11% of business owners feel an economic downtown or recession is extremely likely.
  • 22% feel an economic downturn is very likely.
  • 34% feel an economic downturn is somewhat likely.
  • 27% feel an economic downturn is not very likely
  • 6% feel an economic downturn is not at all likely.

Almost 40 percent of business owners have at least one unfilled job opening. Workforce trends in 2020 will include:

  • 43% of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers in 2020.
  • 50% of workers will be working remotely.

Small business owners should prepare for additional challenges that may affect their small business this year:

  • 43% of cyberattacks target small businesses.
  • 40 to 60% of small businesses never reopen their doors after a natural disaster.

"2019 was a successful year for small businesses, with the majority of business owners reporting good cash flow, despite many struggles to fill job openings," said SCORE CEO Bridget Weston. "With data showing that most small business owners anticipate an economic downturn or recession in the next 12 months, business owners should apply for financing while their numbers are strong, and take the necessary steps to protect all aspects of their business, whether from cyber-attacks or natural disasters."

Download the infographic for more information on the small business outlook and challenges expected in 2020.


Since 1964, SCORE has helped more than 11 million aspiring entrepreneurs. Each year, SCORE's 11,000 volunteer business experts provide free small business mentoring sessions, workshops and educational services to clients in 300 chapters nationwide. In 2018, SCORE volunteers helped to create 32,387 new businesses and 103,300 non-owner jobs.

For more information about starting or operating a small business, or on volunteering with SCORE, visit SCORE at www.score.org. Follow @SCOREMentors on FacebookInstagram and Twitter for the latest small business news and updates.

Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

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Betsy Dougert