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About 1 in 5 Small Businesses Pondering Layoffs in Next Six Months

  • Latest small business survey by the National Federation of Independent Business finds that 22 percent of respondents are considering layoffs in the next six months
  • Most companies that received PPP funds have spent them, and about three-quarters of respondents would apply or consider applying for further relief if a second round of funding was approved
  • Small business owners have expressed greater concerns about their ability to survive amid ongoing uncertainties

A majority of small business owners would consider applying for new Paycheck Protection Program loans if this initiative was revived, according to a recent survey of 553 respondents by the National Federation of Independent Business. The survey also reflected solvency concerns among a significant share of small business owners, with about one in five owners saying t hey were considering layoffs or asking for a deferral in their mortgage or rent.

Seventy-four percent said they previously applied for PPP funding, and nearly all of these respondents said their application was approved. Eighty-six percent said they have spent all of these funds.

Half of all respondents said they expect they’ll need some form of assistance in the next 12 months, with 75 percent saying they would apply or consider applying for new PPP loans if they became available. Twenty-two percent said they were considering laying off employees in the next six months, while 21 percent said they have asked for a deferral on their mortgage or rent and 15 percent said they have asked their lender about deferring loan payments.

About half of respondents said their business has declined since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sixty percent said they don’t think they’ll see business return to normal until 2021.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are about 935,000 small businesses in the United States that employ 45.3 percent of the workforce. These business owners have faced a variety of challenges during the pandemic, including the necessity to change their business model and changing guidance on safety requirements.

Business owners have backed remedies like commercial rent relief and further federal stimulus as steps that could help them keep their doors open. The pandemic has also led to a relaxation of certain rules and regulations, such as allowing restaurants to offer carryout cocktails.

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