Interest in Starting and Closing a Business: Google Searches in the Covid-19 Context

Summary of Study

Bottom line:  Google searches in 2020 related to help, entry, and exit of new businesses were relatively highest in March and April 2020, corresponding roughly to the growth of the economic and political response to COVID-19. Although "new business grant" elicits varying interest over time, "new business loan" and "small business help" are of relatively and consistently low interest until the week of March 16, 2020.

Given the rapid and widespread changes in the economy due to COVID-19, internet searches may offer some insight into how people are thinking about their current economic situation.  Google Trends tracks Google searches among the population, rather than specifically among entrepreneurs, so it can be a useful marker of broad public interest in a topic.

Google Trends data was analyzed for the United States for the period from January 1, 2019, to April 29, 2020. Interest in a particular search is measured by the search popularity index, which ranges from zero to 100, with 100 representing the greatest interest.

Between January 1, 2019, and April 29, 2020, interest in Google searches related to new business help was highest in the weeks of March 16, March 30, and April 20, 2020.  Over the same period, interest in Google searches related to new business exit was highest during the week of March 16, 2020. Interest in Google searches for open a business, new self-employed, and new small business were highest in the week of March 23, 2020, and interest in searches for independent contractor and how to work for yourself were highest in the weeks of March 30 and April 13, 2020, respectively.

The magnitude of the change of Google Search interest in these March and April periods was at least two times above the baseline search interest rate. These indicators add to emerging research of the consequences on entrepreneurship of Covid-19 and its ensuing economic turmoil. 

Read the full study HERE

 

Feature Charticle

Google Search Terms Related to New Business Help

Kauffman Foundation

Findings:

  • Google searches in 2020 related to help, entry, and exit of new businesses were relatively highest in March and April 2020, corresponding roughly to the growth of the economic and political response to COVID-19.
  • The magnitude of the change of Google Search interest in these March and April periods was at least two times above the baseline search interest rate.
  • These indicators add to emerging research of the consequences on entrepreneurship of Covid-19 and its ensuing economic turmoil. 

Read the full study HERE