Almost 60 percent of SMB retailers say they might not have enough cash on hand to get through the pandemic’s economic gut-punches, according to PYMNTS research.
Surveys by PYMNTS have also found that most SMBs say they estimate they could last around nine days with just the cash they have on hand. When Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgivable loans were factored in, the companies said they would have enough funds to go another 69 days.
However, most SMB owners expect the pandemic to last at least 99 days and believe the government’s financial aid could keep them open 95 days.
The $349 billion PPP, established by the government to provide businesses with funds to stay alive, was depleted within weeks and then re-fueled with billions more weeks later. But only around one-third of business owners, or 32.7 percent, surveyed by PYMNTS had applied for the government’s loan money.
That number was higher amid the tech sector, which saw 54.8 of its roster applying for the PPP loans.
Meanwhile, the economy is tumbling; sales fell around 9 percent in March, and the S&P 500 index fell by 34 percent in the same month as investors shied away due to the all-enveloping economic strife.
The government’s stimulus funds have slightly bolstered markets for now, although all evidence points to the pandemic having a longer-lasting effect than just this couple of months.
The pandemic has very likely permanently shifted peoples’ appetite for digital tech, as 29.5 million consumers told PYMNTS they’re likely to continue working from home even after lockdown orders are a thing of the past. And 24.7 million said they don’t plan on eating out at restaurants.
In connection with that, a survey of 437 SMB owners around the country found that 66 percent plan to change their operations to focus more on digital-first methods, while 38 percent say they just want to reduce their business spaces.