Thank COVID? 53% of new entrepreneurs say pandemic gave them motivation to start business

NEW YORK — For some would-be entrepreneurs, the pandemic has been just what they needed to get serious about starting their own businesses. In fact, more than half of a recent survey are actually thanking the quarantine for their newest business idea.

The new survey of aspiring business owners reveals 53 percent of hopeful entrepreneurs believe if it weren’t for the pandemic, they would never have thought to start a business in the first place. Meanwhile, “hopeful” is an accurate description in more than one sense, as more than seven in 10 respondents say they’re optimistic about the post-pandemic outlook for small businesses.

However, some of these business plans may come into existence out of necessity. Sixty-one percent of respondents agree that, because of COVID-19, they have put their career goals on hold to help support their families.

Despite everything Americans faced in 2020, four out of 10 budding entrepreneurs are now confident they can launch a new business by 2022. While 41 percent of potential business owners believe they could get their businesses up and running within 12 months, on average, some respondents feel it will likely take 16 months to officially open their doors.

post-pandemic small business

According to the survey of 2,000 Americans looking to start a business, 73 percent are “more passionate than ever” about launching their own companies in the near future. Surprisingly, only a very low portion have officially put their dreams on hold, with just four percent saying that COVID has stalled their business plans.

Healthcare is NOT the hot industry after COVID

Commissioned by Huntington Bank and conducted by OnePoll, the survey also finds three in 10 respondents have actually ramped up their business plans this year. In fact, one in five have already launched their new businesses.

While the notion of creating something new during a pandemic may conjure images of handmade masks or sophisticated contact-tracing apps, only 13 percent of entrepreneurs say their business is in the healthcare field.

Instead, it seems that the connection between the pandemic and the uptick in entrepreneurship is more about opportunity, with 80 percent 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,” says Huntington’s SBA Program Director, Maggie Ference, in a statement.

“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,” Ference adds.

post-pandemic small business

Saving is the key to success

While the pandemic may have spurred many prospective proprietors into action, researchers also discovered how much serious thought people put into jump-starting their businesses – specifically when it comes to saving money. To fund their small businesses, respondents estimate that they would have to save or borrow an average of $27,440.

The good news? Respondents already have an average of $15,810 for this exact purpose stocked away.

“I can’t overstate the importance of preparation and taking the basic but necessary steps of research and business planning,” Ference says. “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.”