As vaccine delivery reaches a tipping point and Americans feel increasingly comfortable returning to old routines and habits, spending is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels, creating a wave of new business opportunities.
But beyond the return to normal everyone is hoping for, other conditions suggest this summer is a good time to start a business.
A new appreciation for local businesses
“Because of social isolation, people have become more familiar with small businesses within their communities," says James Edge, founder of Crush the USMLE, based in San Diego. The rallying cry during the pandemic was focused on supporting local companies, and that will likely continue now that those connections have been forged.
Plentiful affordable real estate
Edge also makes the case that because brick-and-mortar businesses were hit hardest by the pandemic, “there's a lot of affordable real estate available." The time could be right to relocate an existing business to a better locale or set up shop at a time when lease rates are likely to be below typical market rates. Keep in mind that what's going on in the commercial market is very different from the residential real estate situation, where the inventory of available properties is almost nonexistent at the moment.
Low interest rates
Chelsea Cohen, co-founder of SoStocked, an inventory software company based in Austin, says, “There are incredibly low interest rates that can help a new business get on its feet. Rather than having to pay more on loan interest, businesses can use more of their profits to invest in the business or pay off any other debts." Now is the time to apply for funding to start or grow your company or expand your capabilities.
Once vaccinations are up, and supplemental unemployment benefits cease, many workers who were reluctant to risk their health during the pandemic are likely to want to return to work, says Hosea Chang, COO of Los Angeles-based clothing retailer Hayden Girls. Chang expects businesses “should have a relatively easy time finding employees." Other entrepreneurs express optimism that superstar employees may be willing to consider jumping ship, too.
An opportunity to test the market
“When we come out of this pandemic, the world is going to be massively different in a number of ways," says Kristaps Brencans, CMO of Miami-based On the Map Marketing. With this disruption comes a change “to try new ideas that may have normally seemed too risky or out of place before."