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Shutdowns and stay-at-home orders have had an impact on the nation’s economy. During the COVID-19 crisis, businesses have been juggling keeping their employees safe, their customers safe and keeping their company running effectively. Many business owners, however, remain optimistic that the measures they are taking today will help them come out of the COVID-19 crisis better and stronger.

Although many companies have had to make the difficult decision to layoff some employees, most employers recently questioned in The Harris Poll and TriNet survey said they were confident that their business could with-stand the short-term if the situation remains as it is right now.

610 Merchant Services - Business Remain OptimisticFurther, 96% of those surveyed said they believed their business could make it through at least one month and 92% believed their businesses could survive three months. However, if shutdowns continue and social distancing restrictions do not change within six to twelve months, business owners were less certain of their ability to keep operations running as usual.

Many small businesses are finding proactive ways in dealing with the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 crisis. During the same survey, 78% of business owners said they had made strategic investments in order to keep their businesses running during this crisis and among those, 76% said they believe the investments would pay off once the crisis has ended.

Some of the measures they are taking are:

  • Investing in infrastructure to ensure security while employees work virtually
  • Investing in processes and materials to help them service their customers contact-free
  • Investing in health insurance benefits for laid-off or furloughed employees
  • Paying employees who are not able to work in the hopes of retaining a trained workforce
  • Communication with customers
  • Participating in local community philanthropic opportunities
  • Taking advantage of support from the federal government, including the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

While it is too early to fully understand the severity of the COVID-19 crisis and its long-term effects on businesses, small businesses will continue to invest in their long-term success.

For this research, TriNet teamed with The Harris Poll to conduct an online survey of between 150-200 small business leaders in U.S. companies with 5 to 249 employees between April 3-6, 2020 for the first wave, April 8-10, 2020 for the second wave and April 10-12, 2020 for the third wave. Business leaders were qualified as either owners/partners or C-level executives.