Small businesses still need major help from government and patrons

More than a year since the Coronavirus pandemic First resulted in restrictions on Garden State businesses, New Jersey’s main streets remain vulnerable.

An updated COVID-19 survey from the National Federation of Independent Businesses provides insight into the outlook among small business owners, many of whom continue to seek temporary government help and need more customers to feel safe and secure. visit.

Thirteen percent of small employers surveyed in March said they will have to go out of business if current economic conditions do not improve over the next six months. The percentage is down from 25% in December, but it is expected, experts say, as more small businesses close.

Compared with January 2020, the number of small businesses currently open in New Jersey is down 38.7%, according to the New Jersey Business & Industry Association. At the same time, their turnover is down 42%.

About a third of small employers polled by the NFIB said they did not expect economic conditions to improve completely until 2022. Another 11% said this will not happen until after 2022.

“We need to build consumer confidence,” said Eileen Kean, New Jersey state director at NFIB, at New Jersey 101.5. “We have to get people to stop ordering online and say, ‘I can go to this store. “We’ve created a whole new mindset about how to live.”

Of the companies that received loans from the 2020 Paycheck Protection Program, 74% requested a loan forgiveness, according to the NFIB survey. Of those who received a first-draw PPP loan last year, 42% have already applied for a second-draw PPP loan.

Only 2% of small employers said they will require vaccination of their employees. Forty-five percent said they will encourage vaccination. Thirty-five percent of owners said they won’t get the vaccine themselves – 44% said the same in December.

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