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The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented economic challenges for almost all employers, with small businesses hit especially hard.  But how have PEO clients faired during this historic time?  While there have been articles such as 6 Advantages of a PEO during COVID-19  explaining the positive advantages we now how  the data and analytics published by NAPEO  – White Paper on How PEO Clients Fared in the First Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Comparative Analysis.

PEO clients were 119% more likely to have received PPP loans.

It turns out that PEOs have been very successful at helping their clients through this period of extreme difficulty. One of the most apparent ways is by helping clients to apply for and claim emergency funds available through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

These funds were designed to help businesses navigate the economic disruption without downsizing. However, the PPP program turned out to be challenging to apply for and receive funds. PEOs have proved to be a major help in this regard. One PEO client told NAPEO: “I sat down at my computer one morning to request what I would need to get a PPP loan and it was already in my inbox (from my PEO), even before banks were allowed to accept applications… As a result of their service, I could focus on serving my clients.”

Specifically, only an average of 30.1% of small businesses nationwide received PPP loans, while fully two-thirds (65.9%) of comparable PEO clients received PPP loans.

PEO clients were 60% less likely to have permanently closed.

The effects of COVID-19 have proven so destructive that many businesses have permanently shuttered. While noting that it is too early to determine final survival rates, NAPEO’s survey did find that as of July 31, 2020, only 0.6% of PEO clients had permanently closed, compared to an average of 1.5% for all small businesses nationwide. There’s a similarly dramatic difference in temporary closures as well: only an average of 1.3% of PEO clients was still temporarily closed compared to 14% of all small businesses.

The NAPEO report suggests that PEO’s ability to help clients maneuver through new regulations and figure out ways to reopen safely played a role. As one of NAPEO’s member PEOs said, “We’ve helped our clients in a variety of new ways, with everything from return-to-work procedures and securing personal protective equipment to introducing solutions via mobile applications for contact tracing and office reopening management.”

Final Summary

So, from a percentage standpoint, compared to other small businesses, PEO clients are:

  • 119% more likely to have received PPP loans.
  • 72% more likely to have received their PPP funding in Round 1.
  • 91% less likely to still be temporarily closed.
  • 60% less likely to be permanently closed.

While the first wave of urgent needs from small and mid-sized businesses is behind us, smaller businesses will continue to face challenges as the recession and COVID-19’s impact continue. As the research shows, PEOs will provide unmatched support as these smaller companies anticipate and respond to the new normal.

360PEO is also here for you during this time. For more information on how a PEO can make difference for your small business please contact us at or 855-667-4621.


Infographic How PEO Faired DuringC

Learn how our PEO Partnership can help your group please contact us at or (855)667-4621.

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