Small Businesses Continue To Face Pandemic Headwinds

Small businesses continue to struggle with pandemic-related challenges, according to data from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices. Forty-four percent of small-business owners have less than three months’ cash reserves, putting their businesses and employees in danger should a COVID-19-related shutdown or other emergency occur. In a sign of an uneven recovery, the number is higher—51 percent—for Black-owned small businesses. If small businesses need to access capital, only 31 percent report being very confident they would get access to funding and only 20 percent of Black-owned small businesses report being very confident in their access to capital.

The study also found that small businesses are concerned by the level of debt they have taken on as they work toward full recovery. Forty-one percent of small businesses said they were concerned that debt accumulated prior to or during the pandemic will hurt their ability to get back to normal. Fifty-five percent of Black-owned small businesses report concerns over accumulated debt.

In a clear consensus, 88 percent of small-business owners support the federal government providing additional financial emergency assistance given the rise of new COVID-19 cases. Ninety-one percent support the creation of a long-term, low-interest loan guarantee program to help small businesses rebuild their balance sheets.

“Eighteen months of COVID-related economic headwinds have battered America’s small businesses. While many storefronts are reopening, small-business owners from across the country are sending a clear message that they need more relief in order to continue on their road to recovery,” says Joe Wall, national director of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices.

The data is a result of a survey of 1,145 Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses participants conducted by Babson College and David Binder Research from August 30 - September 1. The survey included small-business owners from 48 states.

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