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With the country caught in limbo between reopening and combatting the resurgence of COVID-19, the pandemic’s effects on small businesses and communities are only beginning to unfold. Between March and early May, more than 100,000 small businesses across the country closed their doors for good, and in the months since, businesses are closing at even higher rates. Microbusinesses (those with fewer than five employees) are particularly vulnerable, meaning cities and towns risk losing their “third places” that provide valuable cultural spaces and economic benefits.

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