Worst of coronavirus already passed, say 63% of business owners: Paychex

First of the coronavirus PPP loans have been made forgivable

The first of the Payroll Protection Program loans are now being made forgivable. FOX Business’ Edward Lawrence with more.

Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here.

Continue Reading Below

Sixty-three percent of business owners say the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is behind them, according to a new survey from Paychex Inc., a human resources, payroll and employee benefit solutions company that is used by 670,000 small- and medium-sized companies.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
PAYX PAYCHEX INC. 71.06 +1.73 +2.50%

Although more than half of respondents are optimistic about the future now that states are beginning to roll back shelter-in-place orders, four in five business owners – 84 percent – told Paychex they are afraid the pandemic may have a second wave of infections. As of May 27, at least 100,000 Americans have lost their lives to the respiratory illness.

THE KEY TO SMALL BUSINESS CORONAVIRUS SURVIVAL

"Over the past couple of weeks, as all 50 states have begun some phase of reopening, many business owners have turned their attention to determining how to best operate safely and efficiently in this new landscape," said Paychex President and CEO Martin Mucci in the survey’s press release. "After an extended period of uncertainty, with more questions remaining, it's encouraging to see that business owners are optimistic about their recovery from this crisis while remaining cautious about the economy and a potential second wave."

On average, business outlook increased from 46 to 51 on a scale of 1 to 100 (“extremely pessimistic” and “extremely optimistic),” according to the survey’s findings. Larger and fast-growing businesses were said to be more optimistic than businesses on the opposite end of the spectrum.

CONGRESS SHIFTS CORONAVIRUS FOCUS TO SMALL BUSINESS AID

Forty-six percent of business owners told Paychex they are fully open and operational, while 42 percent are open on a limited basis and 12 percent are closed but plan to reopen. Of those that are open now, 30 percent said they had to close at one point during the pandemic. Conversely, of the businesses that are closed, half hope to reopen by July while a quarter said they will reopen their business as soon as they’re allowed.

(iStock)

When it comes down to how long business owners think it will take for the economy to recover, 45 percent said they expect their business to “return to pre-COVID norms” in three or four months. Fifty-seven percent think it will take seven months or more for the U.S. to bounce back overall.

DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY IS HELPING SMALL BUSINESS DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Nineteen percent of businesses told Paychex they “have returned to pre-COVID revenues.”

The top four priorities for business owners are focused on maintaining customer relationships at 23 percent, managing their business at 21 percent, reducing expenses at 14 percent and revising their go-to-market approach at 5 percent. Additionally, Paychex noted business reopening became a higher priority in the third iteration of its survey.

On the cautious side, 33 percent of business owners said they are concerned they won’t have “sufficient customer demand” when they reopen. Another 31 percent said they are worried about how to keep their employees safe at work.

GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE

(iStock)

Despite these concerns, 64 percent of business owners told Paychex they think their business could financially survive a second wave of the coronavirus. Forty-four percent of business owners applied for a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program. More than half of those who applied — 58 percent — said they received approval and have received their payments.

Businesses that have between two and 49 employees were twice as likely to receive a PPP loan compared to businesses that have 50 to 500 employees, Paychex found.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS

Source: Read Full Article