How small business owners are finding resilience in Houston amid pandemic

CW39

HOUSTON (CW39) Houston businesses are proving they can remain #HoustonStrong through a pandemic. Results from the Bank of American 2020 Small Business Owner Report Houston findings indicate local:

  • Business owners remain resilient and flexible: More than 80% of Houston small businesses remained open in some capacity amid the shutdowns. Of those, nearly 90% of local small business owners said their day-to-day operations have been impacted. Many have also found new and innovative ways to supplement their business.
  • Access to capital remains crucial: 60% of Houston small business owners applied for at least one type of funding to address the impact of coronavirus. Specifically, 60% applied or plan to apply for funding, 37% took part in the Paycheck Protection Program, 20% applied for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, and 18% applied for a traditional bank loan. For many, this capital gave them the ability to keep employees on staff and maintain operating expenses.
  • Guarded business and economic outlook: Entrepreneurs are significantly less confident in the economy over the next 12 months – with optimism declining to levels not seen since 2016. While business owners are also reporting softer business projections for the coming year (with revenue expectations and hiring plans at record lows), nearly one-third of business owners expect revenue to stay the same, and three in five expect to keep staffing levels stable in 2021.
  • Helping the Houston community: 45% of Houston small business owners took steps to reinvent themselves or help their local communities – significantly more than the national average (24%). Of those, 66% developed new products or services to address the impact of the pandemic and 50% donated their time, products or services.
  • Top economic concerns: In Houston, business owners cite the political environment, the impact of coronavirus, health care costs and strength of the U.S. dollar as their top concerns for the year ahead.
  • The path forward: Houston entrepreneurs are optimistic about the future and 75% anticipate a strong post-pandemic environment that will support small businesses. Business owners also believe they are better prepared to handle any reemergence of coronavirus and most (78%) say the effects of the pandemic will impact their bottom line for two years or less.

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