NFIB survey shows increasing optimism among small businesses

A SURVEY of small-business owners conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business found that the share of businesses that expect to close within the next six months if economic conditions do not improve declined from 25% in December to 13% in March. / AP FILE PHOTO/TONY DEJAK

PROVIDENCE – A new survey from the National Federation of Independent Business found that 13% of small-business owners said they will have to close their doors if current economic conditions do not improve in the next six months, an improvement from 25% saying so in December.

Another 15% of respondents in the survey said they would only be able to operate no longer than seven to 12 months under current economic conditions. The remaining 72% of respondents said they are better situated and do not anticipate any near-term problems.

“As Rhode Island begins down the path to a new normal, small businesses remain hopeful but the recovery remains uneven for certain industries,” said NFIB’s Rhode Island State Director Christopher Carlozzi. “Lawmakers must focus on policies that will encourage economic growth and job creation over costly legislation that will place a damper on small business’ increasing optimism.”


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Other highlights from the survey:

  • Seventy-four percent of respondents said they had applied for Paycheck Protection Program loans. Of those that had applied, 73% had received final confirmation of their approved forgiveness amount from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
  • More than one-fifth of respondents said that sales were 50% or less than they were one year prior, while over one-third said sales had returned to, or nearly to, levels one year before. Another 23% said that sales exceeded figures one year prior.
  • A plurality of respondents (34%) expected economic conditions to improve sometime in the second half of the year, while another 32% expected an economic recovery to not take place until 2022.
  • Forty-five percent of small-business owners will encourage their employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, with 2% saying they will require their employees to be vaccinated.

The full survey results may be found online. The survey drew 526 responses and was conducted from March 11-16.

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