By Zoya Gervis // SWNS
NEWS COPY W/ VIDEO + INFOGRAPHIC
For some would-be entrepreneurs, the pandemic was just what they needed to get serious about starting their own businesses.
In fact, more than half polled in a recent survey may have quarantine to thank for their newest business idea.
A new survey of aspiring business owners revealed that 53% of hopeful entrepreneurs reported that if it weren’t for the pandemic, they would never have thought to start a business in the first place. And “hopeful” is an accurate description in more than one sense, as more than seven in 10 respondents reported being optimistic about the post-pandemic outlook for small businesses.
Such business plans may also have been born out of necessity, as 61% of respondents agreed that, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve had to put their career goals on hold to help support their families.
Despite everything Americans faced in 2020, four out of 10 budding entrepreneurs are confident they can launch a new business by 2022, the research indicates.
While 41% of potential business owners believe they could get their businesses up and running within 12 months, on average, respondents felt it would take 16 months to officially open their doors.
According to the survey of 2,000 Americans interested in starting a business, 73% are “more passionate than ever” about launching their own companies in the near future.
By contrast, a very low proportion have officially put their dreams on hold, with only 4% of respondents saying that COVID-19 has stalled their business plans.
Commissioned by Huntington Bank and conducted by OnePoll, the survey also found that three in 10 respondents actually have accelerated or ramped up their business plans this year.
In fact, 20% have already gone ahead and launched their businesses.
And while the notion of creating something new during a pandemic may conjure images of handmade masks or sophisticated contact-tracing apps, only 13% of respondents said their potential business was related to healthcare.
And 61% of respondents said their business isn’t related to COVID-19 at all.
Rather, it seems that the connection between the pandemic and the uptick in entrepreneurship is more opportunistic, with 80% of respondents agreeing that disruption creates major opportunities for innovation.
“The entrepreneurial spirit in America is alive and well, and it hasn’t been diminished by the pandemic at all,” said Huntington’s SBA Program Director, Maggie Ference.
“Sometimes entrepreneurs just need a little guidance and help to get their businesses off the ground, and fortunately, there are a lot of good resources available to them. With Huntington Lift Local Business, owners can secure loans for as little as $1,000 and up to $150,000 – all guaranteed by the Small Business Administration,” she added.
While the pandemic may have spurred many prospective proprietors into action, survey data also revealed the serious thought people have been putting toward jump starting their businesses – namely, saving money over time.
To capitalize their small businesses, respondents estimated that they would have to save or borrow an average of $27,440.
The great news? Respondents had already socked away an average of $15,810 for this exact purpose.
“I can’t overstate the importance of preparation and taking the basic but necessary steps of research and business planning,” Ference said. “Owning a business is a great dream to have, and it’s nice to see that so many people are ready to turn their dreams into reality.”