A new national survey by Paychex Inc. has found nearly two-thirds of business owners believe the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is behind them and nearly half are fully open and operational. However, concerns of a second pandemic wave preoccupy four out of five business owners.
The survey found 63% of respondents confident that they are past the pandemic’s most difficult depth, with 46% of business owners running their operations at normal capacity with 42% open on a limited basis and 12% closed but planning to reopen. Of the businesses that are open, 30% were closed at one point during the pandemic.
Forty-four percent of the businesses surveyed applied for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan and 58% received payment. However, 37% of respondents admitted they were unclear on how to apply for PPP loan forgiveness and 26% did not believe the PPP loan will be enough for them to survive.
Looking forward, 57% of respondents predicted the U.S. economy would be back to normal in seven or more months. But 84% of businesses said they were somewhat or very concerned about a possible second wave of infection and 64% felt they could financially survive a second pandemic wave.
“Over the past couple of weeks, as all 50 states have begun some phase of reopening, many business owners have turned their attention to determining how to best operate safely and efficiently in this new landscape,” said Martin Mucci, Paychex president and CEO. “After an extended period of uncertainty, with more questions remaining, it’s encouraging to see that business owners are optimistic about their recovery from this crisis while remaining cautious about the economy and a potential second wave.”
Paychex polled 300 randomly selected business owners with two to 500 employees between April 17 and May 17 for the survey.