The percentage of small businesses across the country seeking federal loans as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak is still on the increase, according to a new survey just released by the National Federation of Independent Business.
The Nashville-based group in its latest monthly survey is showing that the number of responding small business owners applying for a Paycheck Protection Program loan has now reached the 81 percent mark.
That’s up from 77 percent for applicants in that same program in late May.
The latest NFIB survey also reveals that of those businesses in the late spring and early summer applying for Paycheck Protection Program support, an overwhelming 97 percent have since received a loan.
Nearly 60 percent of survey respondents also indicated that they are taking advantage of the program’s new loan forgiveness extension, as provided for in the PPP Flexibility Act signed into law in early June.
That legislation additionally allows small business borrowers to utilize a higher percentage of their loan on non-payroll expenses, a feature that, says the survey, some 60 percent of respondents said they regarded as helpful.
Just over a third of respondents to date said that they had applied for help under the separate Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, but are still waiting for their loans to be processed.
The survey, crunching the numbers of more than six hundred small business respondents, also revealed that some 56 percent said they thought they would need anywhere from less than $20,000 to just under $50,000 in loan support over the course of the next year.
A significantly smaller 37 percent thought they would need $50,000 to $250,000 in the same time period.
A hopeful note indicated that while 28 percent of respondents in May said their sales volume was at least 75 percent of what it had been just before the COVID-19 outbreak, that number has since improved to 40 percent.
The survey results, said Holly Wade, director of research and policy analysis for the NFIB, show that small businesses across the country continue to experience “a heavy amount of uncertainty and complications” in a coronavirus economy.
Added Wade: “Now that owners have more flexibility in using their PPP loan, they can focus on adjusting business operations accordingly as states loosen business restrictions.”
By Garry Boulard
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