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Global State of Small Business - September 2021

Updated: Nov 18, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected businesses globally for over a year and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have been hit particularly hard due to their vulnerability to economic shocks. Facebook recently released its insights in September 2021 Global State of Small Business Reports.

This latest report delivers insights from a survey in July and August 2021 of more than 35,000 SMB leaders across 30 countries and territories. There are signs that a global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic may be underway. Vaccination programs and the easing of restrictions have provided causes for hope for many after an unprecedented health crisis and economic shock. However, many countries face new or ongoing waves of COVID-19, driven by the Delta variant, and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in particular continue to face many unique challenges.


  • 18% of SMBs worldwide reported that they were not operational or engaging in any revenue-generating activities, falling from 24% in February 2021.

  • 7% of SMBs in Portugal were closed at the time of the survey, a drop of 26 percentage points since the start of the year and the largest reported decrease of all countries surveyed.

  • 16% of US SMBs reported that they were closed at the time of the survey, down from 22% in February 2021.

Sales and Revenue

  • 28% of global SMBs reported a rise in sales in July 2021 compared to the same period a year ago, increasing consistently from 16% in May 2020.

  • 18% of SMBs in East Asian territories reported an increase in sales, the lowest of all regions in our survey.

  • 4% of US SMBs reported a rise in sales in July 2021, compared to the same period a year ago—amongst the highest of the countries surveyed and more than the share of US SMBs reporting a fall in sales (34%).


  • 36% of SMBs globally reported reduced employment, 36% up from 30% in February 2021.

  • 19% of SMBs worldwide have rehired workers previously furloughed or laid off, with 24% stating they plan to do so over the next 6 months.

  • 72% of SMBs in Indonesia reported a reduction in employment, the highest of all countries and territories surveyed.

  • 24% of US SMBs reported reduced employment, 24% down from 27% in February 2021.

Digital Tools

  • 69% of SMBs worldwide reported that digital tools positively impacted their business during the pandemic.

  • 60% of SMBs reported using digital tools to advertise, 60% up from 40% in February 2021.

  • 94% of SMBs in Vietnam reported using digital tools in their business operations, the most of any country or territory surveyed.

  • 86% of SMBs indicated that they expect to run their operations at least partly using digital tools in the future.

Source: Facebook


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