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New survey expects small business owners to exhaust PPP by June

Salt Lake City — A new national survey of small business owners from Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices shows that America’s Main Street businesses are reopening 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.

The data was announced today during a media call featuring Jessica Johnston-Cope, Chair of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices National Leadership Council and owner of Johnson Security Bureau in New York, NY, Janice Jucker, Co-Chair of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices National Leadership Council and owner of Three Brothers Bakery in Houston, Texas, and Joe Wall, National Director of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices.

A year ago, when Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices 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.

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.

“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,” says Jessica Johnston-Cope, Chair of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices National Leadership Council and owner of Johnson Security Bureau in New York. “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.”

Importantly, 71 percent of respondents say that COVID-19 will impact their business operations long-term. For example, 55 percent expect their business model to permanently change, and 53 percent 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.

For the full survey, please visit gs.com/doors-opening-but-not-in-the-clear.

The data was collected from a survey of 2,140 Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses participants. 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.

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