For much of the summer, small businesses listed rising supply costs and labor shortages as the top concerns that could derail their recovery. But by late July, worries about the delta variant have come to dominate their thoughts, according to a monthly survey from Alignable, an online referral platform for small businesses.
About three out of four small businesses nationally are now concerned about the rise of the delta variant impeding their recovery, with 36% “highly concerned.” In Colorado, that share was 56% concerned about the delta variant and 27% “highly concerned.”
The rise of the delta variant is centered on three chief worries: Customers could become fearful again and stay away; client businesses could take a hit, making them less able to purchase; and employers, customers and vendors could become ill.
About 52% of Colorado small businesses were concerned about another round of government restrictions versus 47% nationally. More small businesses, just over one in four, listed concerns about their financial reserves running out.
“Inflation has been listed as the No. 1 and the fastest-growing concern among small businesses over the past few months,” said Alignable spokesman Chuck Casto. Back in June, 40% of businesses nationally listed inflation as the top concern, ahead of fears of another round of closures, which was still under 25%.
And while those concerns remain, fears about more restrictions related to the delta variant and falling revenues quickly surpassed them, he said.
Among the businesses with the highest share of owners concerned about a delta resurgence nationally were restaurants, at nearly 90%. They were followed by lodging providers, event planners, photographers, and entertainers and artists.
The delta variant was first identified in India, where it spread rapidly, and in May it was discovered in Mesa County. It has quickly become the dominant strain circulating in the state. Compared to the original version, where one infected person spread it to two others, a carrier of the delta variant is infecting about seven others, making it more contagious than even the common cold.
Source: Read Full Article