Never Underestimate Small Business Grit and Optimism

By at 27 May, 2020, 9:08 pm

by Raymond J. Keating-

American entrepreneurs remain an optimistic, resilient bunch – thankfully.

A new poll from Verizon, conducted by Morning Consult, surveyed “500 small and medium businesses that are currently open or plan to reopen.” So, among these small firms able to stay in business during the pandemic or ready to reopen, the key findings were:

● “68% of small businesses believe they can recoup COVID-19 related losses.”

● “46% (nearly half) of small businesses that remain open say their businesses will be able to stay open for more than six months if the pandemic continues in the same way.” In addition, 54% say they can stay open for at least 6 months.

● “48% of small businesses say it’s unlikely they will need to resume operations with a smaller staff.

● “While 78% of small businesses indicate declining sales, less than a quarter (24%) say that they have missed or withheld any payments of bills (rent, utilities, etc.).”

● In terms of the challenges being faced, “43% plan on expanding their businesses through digital and related technology” and “30% already added ways in which they deliver products and services digitally.”

● At the same time, though, 82% say the “coronavirus outbreak has had a negative impact on their business’ financial security” and 60% said it “has had a negative impact on their own job security.”

● “Despite confidence in plans to either remain open or re-open once the outbreak has subsided, 3 in 4 decision makers [76%] say it feels like small and mid-size businesses are being forgotten about amid the outbreak.”

● “Looking to the future after the outbreak has subsided, most decision makers say their business is likely to heighten its cleaning protocols [74%], create or revise a contingency plan [63%], and increase its cash reserves [54%].”

The resiliency and optimism of small business owners was also the highlight in a Facebook-Small Business Roundtable survey released on May 18. Despite the burdens and hardships faced by small business owners in this survey, 57% report that they are optimistic or extremely optimistic about the future of their businesses.

Make no mistake, the harm imposed by the coronavirus and related shutdowns has been severe, including for small businesses, many of which will not survive. But at the same time, poll results provide optimism and hope as we emerge from the pandemic.

For good measure, beyond small business owners communicating their core optimism via these poll numbers, keep in mind that there are and will be hundreds of thousands of additional entrepreneurs who will step up and create new businesses from the many new opportunities and needs that emerge in the marketplace.

In the end, America’s entrepreneurial spirit will never be extinguished, and that’s what will bring the U.S. back from this troubling period.

Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.


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