In spite of the cataclysmic environment they've encountered over the last year and a half, a remarkable number of business owners now say they're feeling confident and financially secure.

In the Capital One Business Survey, released July 27, 72 percent of owners reported their company's financial situation is the same or better than before the pandemic. Six months ago, according to the press release, that number was 53 percent.

Optimism is also up: 94 percent of respondents said they were confident their business would be operating in six months, compared with 85 percent in December 2020. Two-thirds said they plan to grow their businesses in the next six months. 

One caveat to the rosy statistics is that the survey was taken in early June, before widespread alarm emerged about the Delta variant of Covid-19. The spread of the variant has caused Apple to delay returning to the office, spurred stronger pushes for businesses to require employee vaccinations, and could delay global recovery from the virus.

Zainep Mahmoud, senior business director at Small Business Card at Capital One, said businesses have more tools to deal with another COVID-19 spike compared with last year. "Small business owners are resilient, and I would expect that many are still very optimistic but perhaps a bit more cautiously optimistic given the current situation," she told Inc

Business owners reported they were continuing to struggle with familiar pandemic-related issues. Forty percent said vendor or supply chain costs have increased in the past six months, and 30 percent said they have had a hard time hiring new employees in the last three months. 

Conducted online by Washington, D.C.-based research firm Morning Consult, the survey included 1,150 owners of companies with less than $20 million in annual revenue. 

Correction: An earlier version of this article included an incorrect release date for the Capital One Business Survey. It was released July 27.