About 300,000 small business owners from NFIB’s cross-country data base were polled for the survey with 685 usable responses.
A little over half of the respondents who applied for the program — adding up to 80% of small businesses polled — expected expenses to be forgiven, with 27% hoping that more than 75% of their paycheck protection costs would be granted without interest, according to a news release from the federation’s Columbia office. Still, one-in-five business owners find PPP’s matching headcount requirement difficult to meet due to slower sales or closed doors during the pandemic, while 28% of those polled found it somewhat challenging to meet pre-crisis workforce levels.
Questions about the specifications of the program abound with about three-fourths of the respondents reporting that they had wrestled with understanding the terms and conditions of the loan; 22% found the terms to be very difficult to understand, according to the release. Likewise, about one-quarter of those who had accepted a loan expect that they will still need additional support within 12 months with 54% waiting to see what the next few months bring.
Furthermore, 18% of the survey’s respondents said they have struggled to bring employees back to work because they are in competition with unemployment benefits, with 6% forced to raise employee pay to keep their workforce intact, according to the release.
“Small businesses continue to face many challenges in operating their business in these difficult times,” Holly Wade, NFIB director of research and policy analysis, said in the release. “Congress and the administration have the authority to further lighten the burden for many of their immediate concerns, especially in offering more flexibility for PPP loans.”p