Our client PNC recently released results of their Spring Economic Outlook Survey, which looks at, among other things, the COVID-19 vaccine’s impact on businesses. The findings show that, with small businesses permanently changed by the pandemic, owners are looking to a vaccine-driven recovery.
Additional key insights include the following:
- Small and medium-sized business owners strongly support vaccinations for COVID-19. Nearly half of those surveyed (48%) plan to require employees to get vaccinated, a third indicated they will provide education about vaccination and almost one quarter (22%) plan to provide incentives to their employees who vaccinate. Almost half (45%) expect the growing availability of vaccinations to have a positive impact on their sales.
- Small businesses anticipate feeling even more of a “squeeze” in their operations than they already are experiencing, due to a combination of higher operating costs and the anticipation of stable sales.
- Many of the changes businesses made due to the pandemic are expected to last. Nine in 10 (90%) business owners report making adaptations to their operations in response to COVID-19, including health and safety changes in the form of new policies and procedures (86%) or physical modifications (78%).
- Most layoffs from this past year are considered temporary, but rehiring will be a slow process. Nearly one in four (24%) businesses reduced their workforce last year. Furthermore, the survey measured a record low proportion of businesses expecting to increase the number of full time employees (7%) in the next six months, down from one in 10 (11%) last fall and two in 10 (20%) in spring 2020, just prior to the start of the pandemic in the U.S.
Learn more on PNC’s website.
We conduct this economic outlook survey for PNC semiannually. This survey included 500 interviews of small and mid-sized businesses conducted between January and February 2, 2021. See results from the fall 2020 survey here.