NEW YORK — Small businesses are struggling to recover amid pandemic-related headwinds, according to data released this week from Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices. The data from a forthcoming survey completed last week is a critical warning sign for policymakers amid the increase in COVID-19 cases that more action is needed to aid small-business owners as they continue on their road to recovery.
Forty-four percent of small-business owners have less than three months’ cash reserves, putting their businesses and employees in danger should a COVID-related shutdown or other emergency occur. In a troubling sign of an uneven recovery, the number is higher — 51% — for black-owned small businesses. If small businesses need to access capital, only 31% report being very confident they would get access to funding, and only 20% of black-owned small businesses report being very confident in their access to capital.
Small businesses are also concerned by the level of debt they have taken on as they work toward full recovery. Forty-one percent of small businesses said they were concerned that debt accumulated prior to or during the pandemic will hurt their ability to get back to normal. Fifty-five percent of black-owned small businesses report concerns over debt accumulated.
In a clear consensus, 88% of small-business owners support the federal government providing additional financial emergency assistance given the rise of new COVID-19 cases. Ninety-one percent support the creation of a long-term, low-interest loan-guarantee program to help small businesses rebuild their balance sheets.
“Eighteen months of COVID-related economic headwinds have battered America’s small businesses. While many storefronts are reopening, small business owners from across the country are sending a clear message that they need more relief in order to continue on their road to recovery,” said Joe Wall, national director of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices.