Market Perspective

C2FO Survey Finds 75 Percent of Small to Mid-Sized Companies Lack Enough Cash for the Next Six Months

April 17, 2020
The C2FO Team

In the latest indicator that the economic crisis is taking a tremendous toll on companies across the United States, a survey conducted by C2FO finds that most small and mid-sized businesses have a grim outlook about their prospects and access to working capital over the next six months.

The initial findings of C2FO’s economic survey are based on the responses of more than 500 suppliers between March 30 and April 15. The economic survey is ongoing and continues to collect responses from C2FO’s broad customer network. To access and complete the survey, which takes about five minutes, click here.

Key initial findings from the survey, which asked each company to share its outlook for the next six months:

  • 75% of businesses had a negative outlook when asked if they have enough working capital reserves. Only 6% said they felt positive about their reserves.
  • 52% had negative expectations about being able to access the capital they need over the next six months.
  • 65% had an overall negative business outlook. Only 18% had a positive outlook.
  • 47% responded negatively about possible staffing plans. Only 5% expected positive staffing changes.

Smallest businesses are the most vulnerable

Responses to the economic survey indicate that the smallest companies are being hit the hardest by the economic crisis. Among businesses with 10 or fewer employees, 83% expect a significant decline in working capital reserves and 66% believe they will have access to less working capital in the coming months. For companies with 100 or more employees, 44% expect to have depleted working capital reserves and 24% expect a decline in working capital access.

Overall, the sentiment among most small to mid-sized businesses is decidedly negative. This chart shows the full range of outlooks among the more than 500 survey respondents:

Participating in the C2FO survey

If you would like to share how your company is faring and what you expect to see in the coming months, please take a few minutes to complete our economic survey. Your anonymous responses, combined with survey answers from thousands of other companies in our network, representing more than $10.5 trillion in total annual revenue, will help enable the global community to learn, problem-solve and act decisively in these uncertain times.

In the coming weeks, we will share more of our survey findings with you. We are also sharing these key learnings with government leaders and institutions as we work to help them build and refine specific fiscal relief programs for businesses around the world.

There’s no question that time is of the essence in helping small to mid-sized businesses build more liquidity. C2FO is asking business owners and individuals to reach out to their elected officials to share details of a proposed Small Business Supplier Protection Plan. To read more about this proposal, please visit

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