Feeling optimistic: 71% of microbusiness owners expect to recover from COVID-19 financial hit within a year

GoDaddy asked small business leaders about their plans for online spending and forecasts for future growth.

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GoDaddy surveyed 5,265 small business owners to measure the impact of the coronavirus and understand plans for the future.

Image: GoDaddy

Revenue is down for 75% of small businesses, but business owners are equally confident that recovery will happen within a year, according to a new survey by GoDaddy. The "2020 Global Entrepreneurship Survey" included 5,265 small business owners around the world and measured the impact COVID-19 on microbusinesses, including business operations, finance, recovery, technology, and charitable giving.

This survey was conducted by research firm Savanta in June 2020. The research surveyed 5,265 small business owners in Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Mexico, Philippines, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the US. In the US, the survey included 500 small business owners with 25 or fewer employees.  

Despite taking a significant economic hit from the pandemic, 52% of owners say COVID-19 has had a negative impact, but they feel confident that their companies will survive. Thirty-five percent say their business is in a position to thrive.

Ninety-two percent of global respondents said they expect their companies to stay the same or grow 25% or more over the next three to five years. The survey also found that 36% of these businesses had to close at least temporarily due to the pandemic with 10% reporting layoffs or furloughs and 3% shutting down permanently. Thirty-four percent of respondents said they changed how they operate their business due to COVID-19.

SEE: Coronavirus: Critical IT policies and tools every business needs (TechRepublic Premium)

The survey focused on very small companies with 91% of respondents employing 10 people or less and 50% were single-person operations. American owners were the most optimistic about the recovery with 70% saying they expect to return to pre-COVID activity within a year. This was the first time in five years that millennials made up the majority of survey respondents.

Forty-five percent of business owners said they expect to recover within three to 12 months, with 26% expecting to recover in three months or less. Only 28% of respondents received financial help from the government during the pandemic.

Increasing online services

Surprisingly only 40% of respondents have a business website. Companies in Australia, Germany, and the UK were most likely to have a website while businesses in the Philippines, India, and Mexico were the least likely. Among owners that did have a website, more than half increased their online presence during the pandemic by adding content, creating an online store, and increasing digital marketing. American companies were most likely to handle their own tech needs at 66% compared to 54% globally.

Only 19% of businesses report budgeting more money on building an online presence with 53% reporting that their online budget stayed the same. Despite the economic impact of COVID-19, 59% of business owners said they did not change their charitable giving. 

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By Veronica Combs

Veronica is an independent journalist and communications strategist. For more than 10 years, she has covered health and healthcare with a focus on innovation and patient engagement. She led AIR Louisville, a three-year digital health project focused ...