2021 was one of the roughest years on record in the world of small business.
But what does the future hold?
TMC Financing issues its Small Business Outlook Survey every year. Each December, we survey small business owners in our portfolio to learn about their hopes and expectations for the coming year.
The mood is generally positive for the 350 small businesses that completed the survey this time around. The worst of the pandemic for small businesses is in the rearview mirror, and there are plenty of bright spots in the forecast. Combined with the pent-up demand consumers are sure to express, the coming year is full of opportunity.
Let’s take a closer look at what our survey respondents had to say:
In 2021, 68% of small business owners surveyed saw their revenue increase. 18% said their revenue was the same as the previous year, and only 14% said their total revenue decreased.
By comparison, 45% predicted a revenue increase in 2021, 32% predicted a constant revenue, and 23% believed their revenue would decrease during 2021.
All in all, a much more significant proportion of business owners saw their revenue increase than they expected. At the same time, noticeably fewer had their revenue decrease despite a more pessimistic outlook.
Looking ahead to the future, there’s a noticeable wave of optimism around 2022:
- 64% of business owners surveyed expect higher revenue in 2022
- 29% say they expect the same level of revenue to prevail in 2022
- Only 7% expect their business revenue to decrease during 2022
Although not the highest on record, the percentage of small business owners expecting higher revenue stands shoulder to shoulder with the most optimistic periods on record.
Since we launched the annual Small Business Outlook in 2012, those expecting higher revenue has been 64% three previous years, 66% in only one year, and 70% only once.
The message is clear: Business owners are looking forward to a bright future!
Hiring & Expansion
One of the essential effects of credit is creating jobs. Credit can be thought of as the life-blood of a community because it fosters the conditions needed for re-investment. By leveraging funds obtained through TMC Financing, our clients have created jobs across three states.
We counted 4,206 jobs to be created or retained by TMC borrowers in the coming years.
Ready financing at attractive rates will become even more critical in 2022. Interest rates are slated to go up, and the political will to help Americans through direct benefits is fading. In this climate, it might be heartening to know just how many borrowers expect to grow their business:
- 55% expect to hire in 2022
- 42% expect to maintain their current headcount
- Only 3% expect to reduce their headcount in 2022
What about business expansion? The majority of respondents said they had no immediate plans for it, at 65%. 22% said they planned to purchase a new building, and 5% said they expected to lease a property.
A majority of SBA 504 loan-holders who are good standing with their current loan have the opportunity to take out additional loans if they need to. A business can take out multiple SBA 504 loans! With that in mind, qualifying small business owners can examine their options to make a purchase before deciding to lease property.
Like homeowners, business owners tend to focus their refinancing activity on times when a major swing in interest rates offers them the opportunity to save money. Although an SBA 504 loan offers below-market rates, 2022 is not seen as the time our business owners want to refinance.
67% of those surveyed say they do not plan to refinance in 2022.
13% said they will refinance, while a further 20% said they were not sure.
The SBA 504 loan is specially designed to provide growing small businesses with the financing they need to buy commercial property, refinance, or renovate an existing property – including refitting a property with energy-efficient technology. With below-market, fixed interest rates and low down payment, it puts entrepreneurs’ visions within reach.
What do business owners say about the SBA 504 loan?
This is just a brief sampling of their responses to the question “Has the 504 loan helped your business?”
- “It gave me stability.”
- “It made my building purchase possible.”
- “We were able to expand our geographical reach.”
- “It made it possible to expand our business.”
- “Low-interest rates mean more cash flow.”
- “I bought more equipment and diversified services that brought in more revenue.”
- “It’s been a blessing!”
- “Incredibly helpful to stabilize our costs and be predictable.”
- “The 504 loan helped me maintain my business and continue to employ 8 teachers.”
In total, an outstanding 85% of respondents said the SBA 504 loan has helped their business.
Contact us today to learn more about the SBA 504 loan and whether it might be right for you.