As businesses begin to reopen to customers, many are wonder how small business are handling the changes needed to thrive in this new environment. Comcast Business has revealed digital usage trends of two million small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that may indicate early signs of improvement for America’s businesses.
Comcast Business analyzed the high-speed data patterns of its SMB customers across the country through June 7, 2020. Overall, SMB data usage shows signs that companies are starting to come back online – with usage returning to 91.2% of their pre-COVID-19 rates.
“While this pandemic has forced unpredictable shifts in American businesses, SMBs are beginning to find their strides in the new normal – whether it is physical stores re-opening their doors or home-based businesses returning to a steady cadence of work,” said Bill Stemper, President, Comcast Business. “Our data shows early indicators that SMBs across the country are starting to return to the workplace, a testament to their resiliency. Comcast Business is dedicated to providing the technology, tools and resources needed to help businesses not just bounce back from this but bounce forward.”
Small businesses’ use of data reached its lowest point the week of April 6 (down 14.5% versus the pre-COVID-19 benchmark of the week of February 17). However, since the week of May 4, overall average usage is on an upward trajectory – increasing to 91.2% as compared to the pre-COVID-19 benchmark.
By breaking usage data down by industry, region and source, Comcast Business has identified the following additional trends:
All industries were impacted – some more than others
The data offers insight into which industries’ data usage has been most affected by COVID-19, and which have been able to maintain more normal workflows in comparison. The top five business sectors that have seen the biggest declines compared to the pre-COVID-19 benchmark included:
- Amusement and recreation: -37.4%
- Educational services: -36.1%
- Eating/Drinking places (restaurants, bars): -31.7%
- Personal services (beauty salons, etc.): -28.2%
- Membership organizations (civic and social associations, religious organizations, etc.): -18.8%
By comparison, some of the industries that saw less significant changes to their typical data usage included:
- Machinery and equipment: +3.1%
- Hotels and lodging: +1.6%
- Agriculture and forestry: +0.4%
- Legal services: +0.3%
- Construction and trade contractors: +0.1%
Personal services businesses are picking up steam
While many of these businesses are still waiting to fully reopen, data usage among personal services customers – such as barber shops and hair and nail salons – in areas that are beginning to open back up, is starting to show significant increases. These types of customers in regions such as Miami, Detroit, Chicago and Atlanta have seen an average increase of nearly 59.3% since April 6. Similarly, these types of businesses within areas like Denver, San Francisco and Seattle have seen a nearly 46.4% increase during this same time.
Data usage in metropolitan areas is starting to rebound
Major metropolitan areas across the country – such as Miami, Houston and Seattle – were heavily impacted by the pandemic. Since reaching the established lowest point of data usage the week of April 6, these same places are seeing significant increases in usage. From April 6 to June 7, Miami has seen a 15.9% increase in data usage, Houston experienced a 18% increase, and Seattle has seen a 6.1% increase.
Small and medium businesses are quick to adapt, and are finding innovative ways to bring their goods and services back to their customers in a safe way. We’re proud to continue supporting these businesses through unprecendented times and see them thrive through challenges.
For more information, please visit http://business.comcast.com.