Regular readers of our Utah Business Law Blog will likely recall our previous post about the Southern Utah office of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). According to Lennart Erickson, SBDC associate regional director and Jeff Mather, SBDC regional director, St. George’s business future is bright as can be.
Despite difficult times, cautious optimism
That optimism is especially important in a year roiled by the coronavirus. Businesses continue to reopen since spring lockdowns, and owners are cautiously upbeat, though a MetLife and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business coronavirus impact survey indicates many entrepreneurs are concerned about the permanent shuttering of some commercial ventures – and worried, too, about the risks still posed to their own businesses.
It should be noted that according to Yelp, more than 80,000 businesses closed down permanently across the nation from the beginning of March through the end of July.
The American Bankruptcy Institute said about 800 businesses filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy from the middle of February to July 31 – and that by the end of 2020, those bankruptcies could be 36 percent higher than last year’s totals.
Jeff Mather said Covid stimulus funding earlier this year helped a number of tourism-related businesses avoid closing or filing for bankruptcy.
He said one area company “had $300,000 worth of business booked in March and three weeks later they had zero.”
The post-pandemic future
He added that some businesses are still struggling due to the pandemic – and some are permanently closed – but that it’s important to remember that “there is a future after Covid.”
Erickson agrees that despite the difficulties of 2020, “it’s not doom and gloom” here.
Both men agree that because Utah is so business-friendly, the future is like our sunny skies: so bright that you’ve got to wear shades.