Despite persistent pandemic-related uncertainties, optimism among small and middle market businesses is on the rebound, according to Umpqua Bank’s 2021 Business Barometer released today. More than half of middle market firms—55%—said they expect economic conditions to improve, up from just 33% a year ago, and 52% of small firms said they also expect improvement.
Among middle market firms, 62% said they expect revenue to increase, 48% expect to see increased profitability and 53% said they anticipate an increase in prices for products and services, compared to 53% of small firms that expect increased revenue, 45% that expect increase profitability and 45% that expect increased prices.
A majority of middle market firms—96%—and small firms—65%—said they made changes as a result of the pandemic, including those related to supply chains, their products and services, company culture, staffing model, and brick and mortar operations. Seventy-one percent of middle market businesses said they intend to keep all, nearly all or most of those changes, compared to 49% of small businesses that anticipate pandemic-related changes will be permanent.