A new survey found one in five small business owners said they will close in six months unless economic conditions improve, according to data gathered by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).
When asked how long they will be able to operate their business under current economic conditions, 21% of respondents said they could remain open for six months or less. An additional 19% reported that they could stay open between seven and 12 months, and 61% said that they could remain open for more than a year. (RELATED: Coronavirus Restrictions Devastate Black Business Owners, Who Are Down 41%: Study)
The survey was conducted Aug. 17-18, polled a random sample of 20,000 small business owners from the NFIB’s membership base of 300,000 business owners and collected 562 responses in all.
Around half of the respondents said that they didn’t expect their communities to return to normal levels of economic activity until 2021, and one in five thought that economic activity wouldn’t return to normal until 2022, according to the NFIB poll.
Small business owners were also concerned about legal liability related to coronavirus. Of those polled, 55% of small business owners said they were concerned about the threat of legal action against their business related to coronavirus and 21% said legal action was a “serious concern.”
“The health crisis is not impacting small businesses equally,” said NFIB director of research and policy analysis Holly Wade, according to The Hill. “Many of them still need more financial assistance just to keep their doors open and staff on payroll.”
The survey found that 78% of business owners applied for a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a $670 billion loan program that supported small businesses during the pandemic. Nearly all of the businesses that applied for a loan were approved, per the survey.