Valley among top places where small business outlook is positive for 2021

Dec 19, 2020, 12:00 PM | Updated: 1:24 pm

(Facebook Photo/Visit Phoenix)...

(Facebook Photo/Visit Phoenix)

(Facebook Photo/Visit Phoenix)

PHOENIX – The start of a new year appears generally bright for small businesses in the Valley after a tough 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Analyzing data from The Census Bureau’s Small Business Pulse Survey, Smart Asset determined the Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler metro area has the 14th-most positive small business sentiment in the country heading into 2021.

The website compared 50 of the largest U.S. metro areas with data collected between Nov. 30 and Dec. 6 using four metrics: percentage of small businesses operating at normal levels, percentage that do not expect a return to normal levels within six months or ever, percentage looking to hire new employees and percentage with three or more months of cash on hand.

The report showed that 29.3% of Valley small businesses are looking to hire new employees, the fifth-highest percentage among the top 20 cities listed, and 31.2% are operating at normal levels, the eighth-best percentage.

A negative mark, however, is only 21% of Valley small businesses have three or more months of cash on hand, which the study says is the minimum safety net recommended for a business.

The number of small businesses with a safety net isn’t far off from the national average of 25.4%.

The study found 47.4% of Valley small businesses do not expect to recover in six months.

Small businesses on the east coast have the best outlook for 2021, Smart Asset determined, with eight of the top ten metro areas located east of the Mississippi River.

Raleigh-Cary, N.C., was considered the brightest spot for small businesses heading into 2021.

It was found in the survey that less than 2% of small businesses closed during the coronavirus pandemic, but over half nationally don’t expect to return to normal operation for at least six months, if ever.

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Valley among top places where small business outlook is positive for 2021