U.S. Small Businesses Rethink Reopenings Amid Health Toll
One-third of U.S. small businesses scaled back fully reopening their operations amid growing concerns of the delta variant.
(Bloomberg) -- One-third of U.S. small businesses scaled back fully reopening their operations amid the growing health concerns of the delta variant, a new report shows.
About 63% of small businesses are fully open as of August, down from 85% in May, according to a survey of 550 small companies from Kabbage, a data company owned by American Express. The findings add to other findings from Alignable showing businesses pushed out their expectations for a recovery by one quarter. It highlights the ongoing challenges for employers amid the pandemic.
While Covid-19 remains a major issue for companies, finding workers is another obstacle. One-third of small business leaders say it’s somewhat or very difficult to fill open jobs, up from 28% in May. The main reasons are workers having care obligations for kids or family members, and a lack of qualified candidates. Nearly a third of respondents also say their employees don’t feel safe coming back to work.
Meanwhile, less than one-fifth of respondents say they will require customers to show proof of vaccination before removing masks in-store. More than half of the smallest businesses say they won’t require proof at all.
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