The Economy

More Than Half Of Small Businesses Have Reopened: Survey

Forty-seven percent said reaching pre-pandemic gross revenues and total daily transactions would point to full recovery.
Vincent RyanMarch 17, 2021

More than half of U.S. small businesses are fully reopened as local or federal pandemic shutdowns ease, according to a report from Kabbage, an American Express-owned fintech.

What Happened: As part of an effort to track U.S. small business growth through 2022, Kabbage polled more than 550 small business leaders.

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The survey tracks key performance metrics, including headcount, revenue, profit, online strategies, as well as future outlooks, to provide insight into how U.S. small businesses are recovering and adapting amid the pandemic.

The results show that 57% of surveyed businesses are fully open as local or federal pandemic shutdowns ease. Reopening rates, according to Kabbage, were also aided by a shift in operations online that helped boost average monthly online sales revenue by 54%.

When asked whether pre-pandemic commercial occupancy rates would return, 33% of surveyed businesses said they would expand digital operations to supplement or replace in-person operations. In comparison, 15% would scale back digital operations to pre-pandemic levels.

Why It Matters: Kabbage data illustrates that the smallest of businesses have not benefited from the digital shift as much as their larger peers.

When asked about revenue growth expectations for next month versus last, respondents forecast a 21% increase. Larger businesses were most bullish, projecting 46% growth in revenue, followed by medium-sized small businesses at 40% and the smallest businesses at 13%.

“We knew the path to recovery would look different across businesses, but it’s clear there’s a stark difference between the largest and smallest of small businesses — which represent more than 80% of all companies in the U.S.,” Kabbage co-founder Rob Frohwein said.

“As our economy recovers, it’s imperative all small businesses, especially those most marginalized and vulnerable, have equitable access to financial tools, systems, and stimulus programs to ensure we all rebound from this crisis together.”

Among respondents, views varied as to the possible indicators of full business recovery.

One of the best signs of business activity is employment. Half of the Kabbage respondents suggested that paying employees without concern would be the best indication of pandemic recovery.

On the other hand, 47% of respondents indicated business leaders paying themselves pre-pandemic salaries would suggest recovery. Forty-seven percent said reaching pre-pandemic gross revenues and total daily transactions would point to full recovery, and 39% said higher levels of customer demand and inbound business would suffice.

This story originally appeared on Benzinga. © 2021

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