Main Street Monday – Vaccine Distribution Increases Small Business Optimism

March 29, 2021

Caity Roach

Main Street Monday – Vaccine Distribution Increases Small Business Optimism

Despite the growing availability of vaccines, most small business owners do not anticipate the economy returning to normal anytime soon. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s quarterly small business report, six out of ten (59%) small business owners now predict it will take more than six months to get back to pre-pandemic conditions. Nevertheless, vaccine distribution does appear to be lifting small business spirits. More than half of small business owners polled report that the vaccine makes them more optimistic about the future of their business (54%) and the business climate across the country (59%).

Here are some additional survey findings included in the MetLife and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Q1 2021 report:

  • Small businesses are adapting and a growing number (45%) say they can operate indefinitely without shutting down in the current environment, up five percentage points from last quarter, 17 points from July 2020, and 22 points from late April 2020 when only 23% said they could operate indefinitely.

  • Overall, 62% of small business owners say they are comfortable with their cash flow, just three percentage points below pre-pandemic levels.

  • 47% of small businesses anticipate their revenue increasing this year, on par with sentiments during the pandemic. Another 14% expect it to decrease, while 32% think their revenues will stay the same.

  • While almost half (49%) of small businesses plan on retaining their current staff size over the next year, 32% plan to increase staff (up from 27% saying they would do so in Q4 2020). 

  • As the pandemic continues, small businesses are paying more attention to their employee’s mental health. 60% of small business owners say they are actively seeking to improve their employees’ mental health.

  • Just over half (52%) of small business owners say they are likely to require employee COVID-19 vaccinations.

Click here to read the Chamber of Commerce’s full 2021 Q1 Small Business Report.