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50% of Microbusiness Owners Still Reeling from Coronavirus Pandemic

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Half of microbusinesses — those with five or fewer employees — are still being negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new survey from Yahoo Small Business. Among these struggling microbusinesses, 66% have considered shuttering.

Here’s what Yahoo found during its deep look at the current state of businesses.

Technology remains a key driver for success and growth

Many microbusinesses are aware that digital transformation was and will remain a key factor in their success.

Nearly 4 in 10 (37%) of small businesses owners are shifting how they do business online. In fact, 36% invested in software platforms during the pandemic, while another 29% plan to do so before the end of the year.

Many microbusiness owners also focus on marketing and e-commerce to drive the success and expansion of their businesses. Nearly half (47%) report that boosting marketing efforts will be a priority the rest of this year. And on the e-commerce front, 74% of owners plan to prioritize e-commerce technology in the next few years.

Overall, 70% of microbusiness owners say they’ll need to make changes to make it through the rest of the pandemic. As the crisis winds down, the same percentage have plans to update their business operations to meet their customer needs.

Sole proprietors had to pull themselves up by their bootstraps

Among sole proprietorships (microbusinesses with no employees), pandemic-related challenges are just as present. While nearly half (46%) of sole proprietors say the crisis didn’t impact their businesses, 30% say closing down because of the crisis has crossed their minds.

A quarter (25%) of sole proprietors received or expect to receive pandemic-related support from the government — far less than 42% of fellow microbusiness owners who have employees and cited the same. Meanwhile, 63% of sole proprietors say they didn’t receive community support to keep their business afloat during the pandemic.

Further, 66% of sole proprietors report they don’t have plans to expand in the next year, versus 43% of microbusinesses with employees.

Despite challenges, microbusinesses are optimistic about the future

While the pandemic wasn’t easy for many small business owners, the silver lining is that many feel optimistic about what the future holds. Among the microbusiness owners, a whopping 95% say they’re confident about the future — and 52% plan on expanding in 2021.

Microbusiness owners looking to expand can consider financing options, including:

Of course, making sure your personal and business credit scores are in tip-top shape can help improve your chances of getting approved for financing.

Methodology: Yahoo Small Business, a division of Verizon, in May 2021 surveyed 1,000 U.S. small business owners with five or fewer employees.