Over Half of Small Businesses Worry Social Distancing Will Hurt Their Chances of Survival: Survey

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  • Small business owners around the U.S. indicate slightly improved sales conditions since the spring, according to a new survey from Verizon Business.
  • Still, over half on Main Street remain worried that social distancing measures decrease their survival chances.

Governors across the U.S. are allowing restaurants to reopen, some limited to outdoor dining but others at full capacity. A new survey shows one reason why there’s pressure to get Main Street businesses like dining back to normal: over half (55%) of small business owners are worried that continued social distancing measures that limit business capacity will harm their survival chances.

That’s according to a new survey from Verizon Business, released on Monday, that was conducted by Morning Consult and focused on 600 small- and medium-size businesses that are currently open or plan to reopen. The national study was done Aug. 26 through Sept. 4, 2020 and surveyed businesses in a wide range of industries from construction and retail to restaurants, bars and real estate.

A little over half (52%) of small business decision makers reported concerns about their own job security, down from 56% in the previous wave of the survey conducted in April.

Even as business owners worry about the ongoing effects of the public health crisis, many are feeling better about their financial health than in April when shutdowns were spreading across the U.S. But conditions do remain challenging. Sixty-seven percent of those taking the survey reported declining sales, which was an improvement from 78% in April.

If conditions stay the same, 72% believe they can stay open at least six months or longer.

“It’s crucial for us to understand the obstacles our small business customers are facing,” said TJ Fox, President of Verizon Business Markets, in a survey release.



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