While America’s Main Street businesses are reopening as the vaccine rollout makes serious headway, small businesses are still very worried about maintaining payroll through the summer without additional relief, says a new national survey of small business owners called Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices. Its part of a series of surveys taken throughout the pandemic.
“Even as optimism increases, the stark reality is that COVID-19 has forever changed the landscape for small businesses – in ways big and small. After a year with significant challenges, a full recovery for small businesses is not yet in sight and the reality is the majority of small business owners surveyed expect to need additional aid to maintain payroll through the summer,” said Jessica Johnston-Cope, Chair of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices National Leadership Council and owner of Johnson Security Bureau in New York.
One positive finding from the survey is that when Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices began surveying American small business owners, just 39% of respondents were open for business, but today, 84% of respondents report they are fully open for business and another 15% are partially open.
What’s more, compared to a year ago, small business owners overall are 21% more confident of their business’ survival – 89% in April 2021, compared to 68% in April 2020.
And in Florida, 91% of small business owners are confident they will be able to survive.
Here are some additional findings:
- Eight in 10 small business owners report having been given the opportunity to be vaccinated and 67% have received a COVID-19 vaccination, although those numbers are slightly lower in Florida at 73% and 54% respectively.
- 91% of small business owners who qualified and applied for the Payroll Protection Plan’s (PPP) second round have received their funding. Yet 77% of small business owners nationally – and 82% of Florida small business owners – expect to exhaust their second round of PPP funding by the end of June.
- Just 35% of Florida small business owners expect to be able to maintain payroll without additional relief.
- More than seven out of 10 business owners – 71% — say that COVID-19 will impact their business operations long-term.
- More than half — 55% — percent expect their business model to permanently change and 53% believe their employees will continue to work from home more than before the pandemic.
“Policymakers’ action to pass a second round of PPP was a significant in keeping American workers on payroll, but the message small business owners are sending our nation’s leaders is that while they are on the path to recovery, the road is long and more assistance may be needed as their businesses have fundamentally changed,” said Joe Wall, National Director of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices.
The survey included 2,140 Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses participants and the poll was conducted by Babson College and David Binder Research from April 5-9, 2021. The survey included small business owners from 49 U.S. states and four U.S. territories, 55 percent of whom were women. Find the national survey results here.
As for the current round of PPP relief, the Senate voted overwhelmingly March 25 to extend the PPP deadline to May 31. The Small Business Administration is expected to launch its $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund for hard-hit food service entities later this month.