Small Business Recovery after Covid-19

7 Pages Posted: 7 May 2020

See all articles by Patrick A. McLaughlin

Patrick A. McLaughlin

Mercatus Center at George Mason University

Tyler Richards


Date Written: May 6, 2020


The COVID-19 pandemic is precipitating an unprecedented economic downturn, and small businesses are likely to bear the brunt of it. The US government has taken some steps to lessen the damage to small businesses, but these steps impose large costs on the federal government (and taxpayers), and depending on how long the pandemic lasts, these steps may not be enough to keep many small businesses open.

In this brief, we propose a way to help small businesses by reducing their regulatory burden. This proposed program is relatively costless to the government and society, and it is not dependent on the duration of the pandemic. We propose that policymakers use a commission of experts to quickly identify and exempt small businesses from broad groups of regulations that are mostly intended for large businesses. These actions would reduce costs and remove barriers for small businesses, which would provide some relief as the crisis persists. But more importantly, they would spur small business activity as well as overall economic growth.

Keywords: healthcare, coronavirus, coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19, public health, economics, quarantine, economy, economic crisis, small business, economic recovery, entrepreneurship

JEL Classification: M20, M21, I00, I18

Suggested Citation

McLaughlin, Patrick A. and Richards, Tyler, Small Business Recovery after Covid-19 (May 6, 2020). Mercatus Special Edition Policy Brief, Available at SSRN: or

Patrick A. McLaughlin (Contact Author)

Mercatus Center at George Mason University ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
(703) 993-9670 (Phone)


Tyler Richards

Independent ( email )

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