TBM photo by Emily Calkins.

As the Delta variant, vaccine and mask mandates, and talk of COVID-19 booster shots continue to cast a cloud of uncertainty over Maryland’s small business community, recent data suggest nearly half of the state’s small businesses reported higher sales.

That and other findings are part of Facebook’s latest Global State of Small Business Report. The report recaps the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including information on how businesses in Maryland continue to adjust to uncertain conditions and how entrepreneurs are feeling about the future.

As of July 2021:

  • In July, nearly half of Maryland small businesses (48 percent) reported higher sales, up from 22 percent in February. This may be due to 53 percent of small businesses generating at least 25 percent of their sales from a digital presence, which outperforms the national average by eight points (45 percent).
  • Another bright spot in Maryland is that the percentage of operational women-owned businesses jumped almost 10 points (85 percent from 76 percent) since February. And 60 percent of those are reporting higher sales, well above the national average of 44 percent.
  • 41 percent of businesses expect cash flow challenges in the future, suggesting some uncertainty remains for small businesses that have been through so much in the past 18 months.

In an effort to help, over the past year Facebook has launched numerous initiatives aimed at supporting small businesses and helping them navigate the uncertainty of reopening, including providing grants to business owners, developing innovative new tools and products, and hosting digital tool training events, such as Boost with Facebook events.