September saw a much needed boost in consumer confidence- the highest it's been since Covid-19 swept the globe. According to MarketWatch, this increase can be explained by the decline in new infections and the positive economic response.
In an adjacent survey conducted and published this by Comcast Business, SME business owners polled expressed some optimism and higher rates of confidence that they would be able to survive a second Covid-19 wave.
The US economy is beginning to rebound after a history making largest one-quarter slump. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to rebound in the third quarter, sparking hope that the Covid Year recession will be the shortest one the US has ever seen.
In a statement she made to CNBC, Comcast Business CMO Eileen Diskin echoed the feelings of everyone at Sekure Merchants Solutions. “Small businesses are incredibly resilient and demonstrated a ton of agility during this time, having to rethink the way they do business and serve their customers...We learned that small businesses have had a lot of inertia when it comes to technology.”
The Comcast survey highlighted some of the qualities we are humbled by and have come to respect in our working relationship with over 20,000 small business owners across the United States.
- Optimism: 75% of small business owners polled believe that their operations will return to some semblance of normalcy within a 12 month timeframe. 28% are even more hopeful, believing this shift back to a new normal will take 6-12 months.
- Preparedness: 78% of respondents feel like they are prepared for the second Covid-19 wave because they re-evaluated their operations and have made adjustments to the way they do business, how and where they are serving their customers, and how they communicate and collaborate with their stakeholders.
- Embracing the IoT like never before: The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of smart devices that allow small business owners to serve customers safely while also spending less time on employee, inventory, and multi-price management.
After two consecutive declines, the rise in consumer confidence suggests that a U.S. recovery is still on track. Across sectors, business owners are developing plans that allow them to open safely by complying with CDC guidelines. As they do, Americans are slowing starting to return to work and this is reflected in the declining unemployment rates that are key to the current rise economic optimism.
Despite the positive numbers, small business owners are wisely remaining cautious and planning their next moves carefully. Policies encouraging social distancing while shopping and state mask mandates have many small business owners understandably concerned and wondering what the impact of these measures will have on operations.
Despite these worries, small business owners have proven yet again that they are resourceful, smart, and quick to adapt to whatever situation is thrown at them. Merchants are "up against unprecedented times," Eileen Diskin observes. "The fact that they have figured out a way to work within the new model...is telling."