As American small businesses continue to march forward during these difficult times, it seems that they continue to embrace optimism. Sure, there are many challenges on the road ahead, but small business owners see a horizon of future growth. In some recent data published by Bank of America, it seems that American business will not be thwarted in their determined battle for growth and prosperity. The following is taken directly from those findings and published report:
- The Bank of America 2021 Small Business Owner Report, U.S. small business owners have started to regain their footing after an unprecedented year of challenges brought on by the coronavirus. The research, based on a survey of nearly 1,000 small business owners across the country conducted in March, reveals business outlook and economic confidence have bounced back significantly from levels seen in the fall.
- Consistent with last fall, business owners’ top concerns for the year ahead include the U.S. political environment (71%) and health care costs (64%). Concerns that have declined significantly from last fall include the coronavirus pandemic (55%, down from 75% in fall 2020) and consumer spending (46%, down from 56% in fall 2020). Conversely, business owners expressed increased apprehension over macro factors such as commodities prices (59%, up from 42% in fall 2020), corporate tax rates (52%, up from 44% in fall 2020) and interest rate increases (46%, up from 35%).
- More than half (55%) of business owners say they faced difficulties keeping their businesses open as a result of the pandemic. As a result, many business owners made operational changes to their business over the past year, with 62% anticipating these changes will remain permanent – including:
- Continued enhancement of sanitation practices (54%)
- Further building a digital sales strategy (32%)
- Accepting more forms of cashless payments (27%)
- Maintaining shortened hours of operation (22%)
- The coronavirus dealt a heavy blow to entrepreneurs – impacting not only their business, but personal wellbeing. Business owners acknowledge the pandemic’s effect on their business has impacted their mental (39%) and physical (34%) health, and more than four-in-five (85%) say the pandemic has created extra stress around running their business. However, entrepreneurs are finding healthy, productive ways to cope, including making time to unwind and do activities they enjoy (46%) and prioritizing time with friends and family (40%). When asked how they felt about running their business during the pandemic, 52% of business owners said determined/resilient, followed by stressed (48%), anxious (43%) and hopeful (38%).