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Study: 87% of Small to Medium Business Owners Optimistic About Q4

—Small to Medium Business Survey Data Released by First National Bank of Omaha—

PLUS: 21% Say Remote Work Will Continue Indefinitely

FNBO New Study for Small to Medium Business. 27% now have at least three months of expenses saved for emergencies. 87% are optimistic about their business for Q4 2021. 31% reshaped their business model during the pandemic and do not plan to revert back.

Press Release

Contact: Kevin Langin, 402-490-5194
Release Date: August 5, 2021

Study: 87% of Small to Medium Business Owners Optimistic About Q4

—Small to Medium Business Survey Data Released by First National Bank of Omaha—

PLUS: 21% Say Remote Work Will Continue Indefinitely

OMAHA, Neb. August 5, 2021—First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO) today released the results of its ‘Small to Medium Business Survey,’ which examines the effects of the pandemic on small to mid-sized businesses and their priorities for the year ahead, covering topics from transitioning back from remote work, employment and financial outlooks, to planning for the future.

While 41% of small to medium business owners had to close their businesses temporarily or almost permanently during the peak of the pandemic according to the survey, 87% are now feeling optimistic about their businesses for Q4.

When asked about in-person events, 25% of businesses report they have already resumed in-person events and 22% report they expect to be hosting events at full capacity by this fall. 

“The challenges brought on by the pandemic hit small to medium businesses throughout our nation especially hard. As evidenced by our survey data, however, these businesses are incredibly resilient and are working tirelessly to adapt to this new era of re-opening,” said David Cota, executive vice president, Business Customer Segment, FNBO.

Among the survey’s additional findings:

  • Employment Trends: When asked about plans to increase employee count, 47% of small to medium business owners report they plan to maintain employee counts at current levels, and 26% plan to expand employee count this year. Most businesses will also implement a remote work situation post-pandemic, with only 18% doing an in-office/remote hybrid, and 44% having all employees work remotely. Additionally, 21% say that remote work will continue indefinitely.

  • Financial Security: Over one-fourth of small to medium businesses report that prior to the pandemic, they did not have emergency savings of at least three months of expenses (27%); however, 27% of all business owners say they currently have at least three months of expenses saved. When asked about impacts of the pandemic on revenue, 30% report an increase in revenue, 52% say their revenue decreased due to the pandemic, and 18% report the pandemic had no impact on revenue. Additionally, 33% of small to medium businesses say they received a PPP loan while only 15% of businesses that applied for one did not receive one.
  • Business Plans: Nearly one-third of small to medium businesses reshaped their entire business model due to the pandemic (31%) and do not plan to revert back. When asked about business changes resulting from the pandemic, 32% of small to medium businesses report their business has adopted new technologies and 24% say they have adopted new revenue streams.

  • Mental Health: Echoing similar findings among the general population, nearly one-third (32%) of small to medium business owners report their mental health has suffered due to the impacts of the pandemic.

“While it is wonderful to see so many business owners report that they feel optimistic about this next quarter, it’s important to plan ahead for how new COVID-19 variants may potentially impact the economy.  We are confident these businesses will continue to be creative and resourceful, but encourage them to prioritize safeguarding their financial security to help navigate new challenges,” added Cota.

This is the latest survey in FNBO’s ongoing Financial Planning survey series.

METHODOLOGY
This survey was conducted online using Survey Monkey among a national sample of 1,009 small to medium business owners spanning U.S. geographic regions and income levels. Nearly 60% of FNBO’s survey respondents said they were local businesses employing 10 or less employees. The survey sample was weighted to reflect the gender distribution and the age distribution across the 18-44 and 45+ age brackets in U.S. census data. This survey was conducted in July 2021.

 
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