Balboa Capital Survey: Small Business Owner Optimism Rebounding in 2021

Balboa Capital unveiled the results of its Q2/21 Small Business Owner Survey, which was conducted to gauge small business owner confidence, measure the strength of the United States’ economy and gain an understanding of recent small business performance. The survey found that half of small businesses experienced increased revenues in Q1/21 and seven in 10 small business owners (SBOs) expect their companies to perform better in 2021 than they did in 2020. Additionally, 59% of SBOs think the economy will experience moderate to strong growth this year.

“The fog of uncertainty that has lingered over Main Street USA appears to be lifting,” Kevin Umeda, manager of sales planning and coordination at Balboa Capital, said. “The results of our latest survey reveal that small business owners are seeing increased revenues in 2021 and they are feeling confident about the nation’s economy. Seventy-one percent of SBOs we surveyed expect their companies to perform better in 2021 and this has translated into plans for long-term business growth. More and more SBOs are eager to invest in capital equipment, hire new employees and purchase more inventory.”

Key Survey Takeaways

  • 50% of SBOs reported increased revenues in Q1/21 compared with 17% in the previous quarter.
  • 28% of SBOs reported no change in revenues in Q1/21 compared with 30% in the previous quarter.
  • 22% of SBOs reported decreased revenues in Q1/21 compared with 53% in the previous quarter.
  • 71% of SBOs think their companies will perform better in 2021 than they did in 2020.
  • When asked about what they expected from the United States’ economy in 2021, 20% of SBOs said “strong growth,” 39% said “moderate growth” and 24% said “flat/no change.”
  • 73% of SBOs plan to increase spending and/or invest in their companies in 2021.
  • Eight in 10 SBOs have incurred costs relating to COVID-19 safety measures.
  • 35% of SBOs raised their prices to offset costs relating to COVID-19 safety measures.
  • 52% of SBOs expect to hire new employees in Q2/21, up from 25% in the previous quarter.
  • The impact of COVID-19 on sales and productivity is the No. 1 concern of SBOs in 2021, followed by business tax rates, consumer confidence/spending, operating costs/expenses and stock market performance

Balboa Capital’s survey was sent to a sample of SBOs in a variety of industries in April.

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