If you are like me, you are looking for any news that is even a little positive about the final cessation of the epidemic և returning to normal. Well, I got something for you.
According to a new survey by the US Census Bureau, more than half (50.4%) of small business owners in Washington say their operations have returned to normal, or they expect them to take place within the next six months.
Of course, this also means that almost half of the state-owned small businesses do not see an improvement in the near future, or their business has already closed. But I prefer to look at the glass not half empty, but half full.
This new survey, conducted from March 15 to March 21, also marks the first time since May 2020 that more than half of small business owners are so optimistic.
The results of the survey for Washington are similar to the results of the United States in general. At the national level, the numbers are even a little better. About 52% of small business owners see a return to normal within six months. This has not happened since June 2020 this month.
In Washington, 30% of small business owners said that the epidemic either did not affect their business that much, or by March their business had returned to normal, which is slightly above average. And about 20% said that although things are still slow, they imagine that their business will return in full within the next six months.
This is good news. But for the other half of Washington small business owners, things are getting gloomier.
About 43% believe that it will take more than six months for events to return to pre-epidemic levels. But at least they do not think so. Alas, another 7% said they did not think the business would ever be the same or that they had closed their doors forever.
The data comes from the Small Business Pulse Survey, a new initiative by the US Census Bureau. It was initiated in response to the COVID-19 epidemic as a way to change the changing conditions on our nation’s small businesses. Unlike other long-term census products, Small Business Pulse Survey provides real-time data. New results are published weekly.
The first results of the study were published in early May 2020.
The data show a number of other positive trends in Washington business. For example, in the first survey, the majority of small business owners (55%) said that the epidemic had a “significant negative impact” on their business. According to the latest survey, almost a year later, that number has dropped to 31%.
There are several other major improvements.
According to the first survey, 32% of small businesses in Washington have reduced the number of paid employees in the last week. In the last survey, 8% of people were fired last week. He also said that in the first survey, 53% of the state’s small businesses reduced their wage hours that week. According to the latest data, 13% have done so.
The Census Bureau recently added several new questions to the survey, including coronavirus tests and vaccines. Only about 8% of Washington small businesses have tested negative for employees who have to physically go to work. And it is unlikely that any small business, only 1%, would require proof of vaccination from employees.
Another new question is about the business trip, which, according to some analysts, will never return to pre-epidemic levels. Even so, a mid-March poll found that a significant 31% of Washington small business owners said they planned to spend on plane or train tickets, car rentals and accommodation over the next six months.