As the vaccine rollout continues and state case numbers hover near pandemic-era lows, businesses are reporting improved confidence they’ll be able to keep their doors open.
Nearly seven in 10 Florida small businesses now believe they’ll be able to stay open for at least the next six months, according to Facebook’s latest “Global State of Small Business Report.”
The newest edition, released Thursday, breaks out data by state for the first time. The side-by-put a positive light on the Sunshine State, with near-term small business confidence outpacing the national average.
Florida is also beating the baseline in several other metrics.
Five out of six (84%) Florida small businesses are operational or engaged in revenue-generating activities. The share is six points ahead of the national average. Likewise, 81% of minority-owned businesses and 85% of women-owned businesses are operating — the U.S. average is 73% and 75%, respectively.
Still, the economy is not firing on all cylinders.
About a third (32%) of small businesses, including half of those owned by women, have seen a sales slump. In both cases, Florida trails the nation by 5 points.
“Since the start of the pandemic more than a year ago, small businesses around the world have struggled. While the roll-out of vaccines and the easing of lockdowns in many countries are reasons to be hopeful, our latest Global State of Small Business Report is a timely reminder that many are still vulnerable and in need of support. And those feeling the impact of the pandemic the most are female and minority-owned businesses — a further reminder that whenever crises hit, it’s the most vulnerable who are always hit the hardest,” Facebook spokesperson Sheryl Sandberg said.
Florida does fare well when pitted against rival large state New York — a frequent punching bag for Gov. Ron DeSantis. Notably, 84% of Florida’s male-owned small businesses are up and running compared to just 62% of the Empire State’s.
The new report comes as Facebook continues spearheading initiatives to support small businesses amid the shaky pandemic economy. Efforts include grant programs to help business owners reopen and hosting online trainings on how the social media platform can boost businesses’ consumer reach.