Cox Communications released its “Cox Small Business Snapshot” report, indicating that about 60 percent of businesses have either “returned to or exceeded their pre-pandemic financial levels.” At the same time, approximately 90 percent of minority small business owners indicated they were “hopeful” regarding organizational growth over the next year.
“It’s been a tough year on companies worldwide, but particularly among minority-owned businesses,” said Perley McBride, EVP of Cox Business. “While we’ve seen movements take root in shopping small, buying local and supporting minority-owned companies, it’s heartening to hear many businesses are recovering and are optimistic about their financial futures.”
Of note, three-fourths of small businesses noted “heightened” business challenges, with 50 percent applying for Paycheck Protection Program loans, 67 percent receiving such funding and, of those who obtained stimulus funds, 82 percent invested the money back into their business.
Top investments included:
- Technology (58 percent), including e-commerce platforms, touchless payment systems and contactless delivery services.
- Additional products and services (50 percent).
- Location updates (27 percent).
- Hiring or re-hiring staff (26 percent).
- Physical site expansion (25 percent).
- Added locations (24 percent).
At the same time, top listed challenges included issues related to customer base growth, access to capital and planning and structuring, with 65 percent believing that those issues are unique to minority owned businesses.
Cox also noted that areas of needed improvement include:
- Supplier diversity, minority-specific grants and funding (55 percent).
- Mentorship or advisory program availability (45 percent).