Some two-thirds of small business owners say more federal relief funds are needed for them to be successful in the coming year during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to the fourth quarter Small Business Index survey from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Small business owners who participated in the survey said they would use the money to pay for employee salaries and benefits, operational costs and rent and utilities.
Overall, the index stands at 52.9 for the fourth quarter, up slightly from 50.3 in the third quarter and significantly higher than 39.5 in the second quarter when the pandemic hit. Pre-coronavirus, the index was 71.7 in the first quarter of 2020.
Dealing with the coronavirus and the economy tied for first---at 44% each---among the top policies small businesses think the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden and the new Congress should focus on in 2021.
“Most small businesses have had a tough year and need immediate assistance from Congress,” said Tom Sullivan, vice president of small business policy at the Chamber. “A legislative stimulus should be targeted toward the struggling businesses that need a financial bridge to survive the pandemic.”
Sullivan also noted federal assistance should be flexible enough to fund personal protection equipment purchases and...