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Businesses Say Additional Government Stimulus is a Top Priority this Election Year, Paychex Study Reveals

October 30, 2020

Additional Government Stimulus is a Top Priority this Election Year

Additional government stimulus remains a top priority for businesses as the election nears. According to new research from Paychex, Inc., a leading provider of human resources, payroll, benefits, and insurance solutions for 730,000 small- and medium-sized businesses, 49 percent of businesses strongly support stimulus that would waive the penalty for early retirement withdrawals, followed closely by stimulus options for tax credits for personal protective equipment (PPE) (46 percent) and liability protection for COVID-19-related lawsuits (46 percent). Ranking fourth out of the options surveyed, 44 percent of businesses strongly support a second round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.

“For many businesses, the first round of federal stimulus made the difference between staying open and closing their doors, between keeping their staff on payroll and being forced to make layoffs. As COVID-19 cases once again begin to rise throughout the country, a second stimulus bill will provide enhanced stability for businesses as they plan for the future,” said Martin Mucci, Paychex president and CEO.

COVID-19 response ranks highest on the list of top election-year issues for business owners (63 percent), followed by healthcare and tax reform (both 55 percent). When asked about their current top challenge, businesses of all sizes are struggling to cope with economic uncertainty and public health uncertainty – 40 percent say each of those issues are very challenging – followed closely by finding new customers (37 percent).

Despite the challenges, 63 percent of businesses say they have ample cash reserved to survive the remainder of the pandemic; and 72 percent agree they have the resources to implement and enforce measures to keep employees and customers safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of the study, Paychex polled 500 randomly selected business owners with 1-500 employees from September 11 to October 1, 2020. Insights from the survey included:

Continued Impact of COVID-19

  • Overall, 48 percent of businesses report being at least somewhat negatively impacted by COVID-19, though 29 percent say COVID-19 has had no effect on their business, and 23 percent report a positive impact.
    • Broken down by business size, 49 percent of very small businesses (1-19 employees) and 45 percent of small businesses (20-99 employees) report being at least somewhat negatively impacted by COVID-19 compared to only 19 percent of mid-sized business (100-500 employees).

Stimulus Needs

  • Most businesses strongly support waiving the penalty for early retirement withdrawals (49 percent) followed closely by tax credits for PPE (46 percent), liability protection for COVID-19-related lawsuits (46 percent), and a second round of PPP loans (44 percent).
    • Very small businesses most strongly support waiving the penalty for early retirement withdrawals as a stimulus option (49 percent), small businesses are split between tax credits for PPE (53 percent) and liability protection for COVID-19 related lawsuits (53 percent), and mid-sized businesses most strongly support tax credits for PPE (68 percent).

Election Year Issues

  • General COVID-19 response is the most important election-year issue (63 percent). Ranking second and third are healthcare (55 percent) and tax reform (55 percent).
    • Mid-sized businesses also ranked changes in federal government regulations as very important (67 percent) as well as additional economic stimulus (66 percent).

Business Challenges

  • Businesses of all sizes are most challenged by coping with economic uncertainty – 40 percent say it’s very challenging – as well as coping with public health uncertainty (40 percent) and finding new customers (37 percent).
    • Very small businesses are challenged most by coping with economic uncertainty, small businesses are struggling to find good employees, and mid-sized businesses are struggling to retain good employees.

For more data insights from this survey, visit this Paychex WORX article. Following the election, Paychex will be hosting a webinar featuring experts from its government relations and compliance team to help business owners understand the implications of the top election issues on their business. The webinar will take place on November 20, at 1:30 p.m. ET. Register here to participate:

Paychex has taken a leadership role in helping businesses navigate the COVID-19 pandemic with its comprehensive COVID-19 Help Center, extensive HR support for clients, and technology enhancements to address pandemic-related challenges. Here’s an overview of how Paychex is supporting businesses and clients during this time:

  • COVID-19 Help Center: Paychex’s COVID-19 Help Center offers comprehensive support to help businesses through every phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, from solidifying finances to decoding how new regulations impact employees. Highlights include:
    • State-Specific Resources: Through a click on a map, users can access webinars, checklists, articles specific to their state regarding guidance on re-opening, paid leave laws, furloughs and layoffs, out-of-state travel restrictions, and more.
    • Reopening Guidance: These resources help businesses resume operations with confidence, including detailed information about staffing considerations and workplace safety and privacy considerations.
  • Expert HR support: The experienced HR professionals at Paychex go beyond best practice to develop and deliver effective HR recommendations based on the unique circumstances and business needs of the client.
  • Technology solutions to address pandemic-related challenges, including:
    • Cashflow disruption: To date, Paychex has populated 500,000 PPP reports for customers and helped them secure $28 billion in PPP loans with the PPP Application Report, forgiveness calculator, and signature-ready application capability.
    • Remote workforce support: HR Conversations in Paychex Flex® enables virtual employee-management dialog, allowing managers to track employee interactions, and conduct pulse check-ins to ensure workload balance, safety, and well-being. HR Connect can be used by employees and managers to raise and address all types of concerns.
    • Employee health and safety: Paychex has developed tools to help employers track and report on COVID-19-related incidents, requests, and employee health attestations, as well as providing access to COVID-19 screening resources for employees.

For more information on how COVID-19 support from Paychex can help your business, visit

About the SMB Pulse Survey

Paychex polled 500 randomly selected business owners with 1-500 employees. The survey was fielded September 11 to October 1, 2020 and was administered online by Bredin, a third-party research firm, and yielded a +/- 4.00% margin of error.

About Paychex
Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ:PAYX) is a leading provider of integrated human capital management solutions for human resources, payroll, benefits, and insurance services. By combining its innovative software-as-a-service technology and mobility platform with dedicated, personal service, Paychex empowers small- and medium-sized business owners to focus on the growth and management of their business. Backed by more than 45 years of industry expertise, Paychex serves more than 730,000 payroll clients as of May 31, 2020 across more than 100 locations in the U.S. and Europe, and pays one out of every 12 American private sector employees. Learn more about Paychex by visiting and stay connected on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Emily DePerrior

Emily DePerrior

Emily DePerrior joined Paychex in October 2019 and serves as public relations program lead. In this role, she is responsible for advancing the company’s reputation as an HR outsourcing leader, providing PR support for the Paychex Insurance Agency, overseeing media monitoring, reporting and measurement initiatives, and supporting the overall goals of the public relations department. Emily is a graduate of University of Rochester where she studied English with a concentration in language, media and communications. Prior to joining Paychex, she worked at University of Rochester Medical Center and the global PR agency, Text100.

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