A new national survey of small-business owners from Goldman Sachs “10,000 Small Businesses Voices” shows that America’s Main Street businesses are re-opening and their owners have access to vaccines. However, small businesses are concerned about maintaining payroll through the summer without additional relief, highlighting the fragility of this recovery and the requirement for continued access to capital.
While small-business owners begin their recovery in earnest, warning signs remain about their ability to return to business as usual. Ninety-one percent of small-business owners who qualified and applied for the Payroll Protection Plan’s (PPP) second round have received their funding. However, 77 percent of small-business owners nationally — and 67 percent of Utah small- business owners — expect to exhaust their second round of PPP funding by the end of June. Only 33 percent of Utah small-business owners expect to be able to maintain payroll without additional relief.
The data were announced during a media call featuring Jessica Johnston-Cope, Chair of Goldman Sachs “10,000 Small Businesses Voices” National Leadership Council, and Joe Wall, national director of “10,000 Small Businesses Voices.”
A year ago, when Goldman Sachs began surveying American small-business owners, only 39 percent of respondents were open for business. Today, 84 percent of respondents report they are fully open for business and 15 percent are partially open. Compared to a year ago, small-business owners overall are 21 percent more confident of their business’ survival — 89 percent in April 2021, compared to 68 percent in April 2020. Ninety-one percent of Utah small-business owners are confident they will be able to survive.
Additionally, 80 percent of respondents report having been given the opportunity to be vaccinated and 67 percent have received a COVID-19 vaccination. In Utah, 84 percent of small-business owners have personally been given the opportunity to receive a vaccination and 61 percent have received it.
“Across America, it’s back to business on Main Streets as operating restrictions are eased and customers are becoming increasingly comfortable visiting their favorite local businesses,” said Johnston-Cope. “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.”
“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 Wall.