February 04, 2021
February 04, 2021
Survey findings from Square and Wakefield Research show that the majority of small business owners have a bright outlook for 2021, especially Millennial and minority-owned businesses.
The ongoing pandemic and accompanying economic fallout has had a disproportionately adverse effect on America’s small businesses. From restaurants and bars, to retailers, salons, and service professionals, small business owners have spent the past eleven months navigating regional lockdowns, pivoting business and operating models, and finding creative ways to adapt and weather the financial challenges of an unprecedented year.
Square surveyed 1,000 small business owners between December and January to gain a deeper understanding of this group’s outlook for 2021 and learn about the financial levers they plan to pull in order to get back on their feet and navigate their ongoing recovery. We found that despite ongoing uncertainty and persisting pandemic challenges, the majority of small businesses are optimistic about the year ahead and already have concrete plans to get on better financial footing as they emerge from a grueling 2020.
“The suddenness with which COVID-19 turned the economy upside down was particularly devastating for small business owners, many of whom already faced regular challenges managing their cash flow,” said Christina Riechers, General Manager of Business Banking at Square. “However, we’ve learned time and again that small businesses are resilient and versatile, and this data illustrates that merchants are emerging from this crisis with optimism and a resolve to alter their financial habits in a way that will serve them well in the short and long term.”
“The lockdowns last March made us take a step back and realize we had always thought about our business and earnings in a day-to-day, or week-to-week perspective,” said Leyla Khanahmad, owner of The Black & Caspian. “The last year has really taught us as a small business that we need to think about our finances with a more long term outlook than we had previously.”
Here are some of the key findings from our survey on small businesses’ outlook for 2021, as well as insights into how they plan to approach their finances this year:
Despite Hope, Small Businesses Need a Lending Hand
While positivity is high, small business owners recognize that the year ahead won’t be without its difficulties, especially when it comes to their finances. To that end, many expect outside capital to play a pivotal role:
Outside financing isn’t the only avenue small business owners believe will be critical to their success this year:
Cash Flow Management is Top of Mind
To better prepare themselves for the twists and turns of recovery, small business owners want to steady their ships first and get a better grip on their finances:
In order to get their finances under control, nearly three-fourths of respondents (74%) have plans to better manage their business’ cash flow, including:
Small business owners are also looking to their banks for more help in the recovery process. Asked what they would find most valuable from their financial institutions this year, the three top responses were:
Saving for a Better Tomorrow
With the pain of 2020 still fresh, the majority of small business owners are looking to start building better financial habits to help them in the future:
Square, Inc. changed its name to Block, Inc. on December 1, 2021.
Block, Inc. (NYSE: SQ) is a global technology company with a focus on financial services. Made up of Square, Cash App, Spiral, TIDAL, and TBD, we build tools to help more people access the economy. Square helps sellers run and grow their businesses with its integrated ecosystem of commerce solutions, business software, and banking services. With Cash App, anyone can easily send, spend, or invest their money in stocks or Bitcoin. Spiral builds and funds free, open-source Bitcoin projects. Artists use TIDAL to help them succeed as entrepreneurs and connect more deeply with fans. TBD is building an open developer platform to make it easier to access Bitcoin and other blockchain technologies without having to go through an institution.