Good News For Small Businesses Eyeing To Bounce Back

Ready for some good news? Small business is expected to bounce back in 2021. That’s encouraging news for entrepreneurs, especially after a year of challenges. Here are some recent stats to support this optimistic outlook along with potential action items to consider. Position your business to join this long-awaited growth wave.

Vaccine availability is helping pave the way.

The Small Business Index (Q1 2021) reports 54% of small businesses say the availability of vaccines has made them feel more optimistic. It may take more than six months to fully recover, but they see things are moving in a positive direction. Overall, 70% of owners say they are likely to get the vaccine as soon as it’s available. Around half of small businesses are likely to require employee vaccinations. The aim is to ensure adequate staffing and provide a safe environment for workers and customers.

Action Item: Monitor vaccine availability in your area and share this information with your staff. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) offers a vaccine finder. With it, you can search by ZIP code and mile radius to find a location near you. It also indicates which vaccine the provider has in stock along with information on making an appointment.

Cash flow comfort is approaching pre-pandemic levels.

62% of small businesses surveyed are comfortable with their cash flow situation, according to the Small Business Index. It was 65% at the beginning of 2020. This is an important indicator. Adequate cash flow helps you achieve the right balance between money coming in to pay current financial obligations or take advantage of new opportunities. It’s foundational for growth.

Action Item: Take another look at the key drivers of your cash flow—accounts receivable, expense management, inventory turnover and more access to cash. Look at this Wire article for tips on cash flow management. Need a refresher? Here’s a link to a free tutorial on cash management from SCORE.

Digital technology is helping to shape the new normal.

According to a Melio survey, 31% of small business owners cited technology as key to surviving the pandemic. Over a quarter accelerated the adoption of digital tools for their business, especially in low-contact or contactless environments. Specifically, they increased online advertising, revamped their website and stepped up social media activity. Many see this as a path to future success.

Action Item: Now’s a great time to review your 2021 marketing with an eye toward digital tactics. Here are six, free digital tools to jump-start your online marketing. Equally important is having the metrics and tracking tools in place to determine whether you’re getting your money’s worth. For example, here are some tools from Google Analytics to monitor your website’s performance.

More stimulus program funds are available.

A significant portion of the recent $5 trillion stimulus program is earmarked for small businesses. That includes an additional $7.25 billion for the paycheck protection program (PPP) and an additional $15 billion for the economic injury disaster loan (EIDL) program.

There are also five tax incentives that can reduce taxes and provide additional funding. These include the: employee retention, Families First Coronavirus Response, COBRA, carryback of losses, and work opportunity tax credits.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce offers a great summary of these federal stimulus programs and tax incentives. They also provide links to more detailed information.

Action Item: Consult with your financial professional to see which of these tax credits might apply to your business. Your local Small Business Administration (SBA) can be a useful resource in helping you apply for stimulus programs. Note that eligibility has been expanded. So if you weren’t eligible during the first round, your business may now qualify.

There is light at the long end of the pandemic tunnel for small business owners. While progress may be spread out over 2021, entrepreneurs can take action now to join the expected recovery. Take a look and see if you’ve got these action items covered.

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