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More Utah small businesses are recovering from COVID-19 pandemic

Local business leaders and economists are sharing an optimistic outlook as many businesses across Utah are returning to normal operations. (Photo: Adobe Stock)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Local business leaders and economists are sharing an optimistic outlook for the future as many small businesses across Utah begin returning to normal operations. 

Small businesses are seeing more demand

Speaking on National Mom and Pop Business Owner Day, Robert Spendlove with Zions Bank shared information from the Census Bureau’s latest Small Business Pulse Survey.

“Seven in ten small businesses have either fully recovered or are expected to fully recover in the next few months,” he explained.

Additionally, the survey found 45% of these businesses are already operating at pre-pandemic levels, while 26% of small businesses expect to return to normal within six months.

According to Spendlove, two in three Utah “mom and pops” say their business has been hurt by the pandemic.

Coronavirus pandemic creates a pet boom

One of those individuals is Jackie Hansen, owner of Central Park Pet Retreat in Salt Lake City.

She says her pet daycare and boarding business struggled to stay open early on, and at one point, they had to operate with only two employees.

Since then, Hansen says business is coming back and she expects to be operating at pre-pandemic levels in the near future. 

One of the unintended benefits of the coronavirus pandemic for her business was the “pet boom.”

According to the American Pet Products Association, more than 11 million U.S. households got a new pet during the pandemic.

Beyond specific businesses that are experiencing post-pandemic booms, Spendlove anticipates almost all small businesses across the state will soon see more demand.

“Freshly vaccinated people will soon be able to re-enter our workforce and re-enter or society,” he explains. “Whether it’s going to the dry cleaners, going to the movies or going on a cruise.”