SMBs Fear That Delta Variant Will Hurt Them, Study Finds

Small businesses, including those that rely on email marketing, are nervous: 76% fear the Delta Variant will hurt their recovery, and 34% are very concerned, according to a study by Alignable. 

Of the SMBs polled, 47% cite re-closures as their biggest worry. 

In May and June, this was a distant second to fears about the cost of supplies going up. In July, both worries shot up, with concerns over re-closures in first place. 

In addition, 83% of minorities running businesses are worried about the Delta variant, 44% highly so. 

In contrast, only 66% of the women who own small businesses feel the same way, with 39% saying they are highly concerned.  

In addition, 71% of men fear this, 30% very much so.  

And, 55% of veterans are worried, only 29% in a major way. 

The industry verticals (and fear of Delta) are as follows: 

  • Restaurants — 88% 
  • Travel/Lodging — 87%
  • Event Planners — 86% 
  • Photographers — 83% 
  • Entertainment/Artists — 81% 
  • Retailers — 77% 
  • Gyms — 76% 
  • National Average — 76%
  • Construction — 70% 
  • Real Estate — 68%

One survey respondent, who runs a children’s theater company, has already been hurt.

"At the beginning of the summer, my business was slowly starting to come back, although I only had 28% of the number of bookings from the pre-COVID era. However, 50% of my bookings cancelled, THIS WEEK, due to several POSITIVE cases of COVID IN YOUNG CHILDREN and schools having to SUDDENLY CLOSE.” 

The owner concludes, “My business is currently is in a "wait and see" mode. I don't foresee that I will be operating again, until the Delta virus is under control."

New York SMBs are the most worried — 82% say they are. Massachusetts is second, with 78%.  

Overall, the top three concerns are:

  1. Customer fears would escalate, preventing visits to their shops or offices
  2. Their clients’ businesses could be negatively impacted, resulting in lost revenue for them 
  3. Employees, customers, and vendors could become ill
Alignable surveyed 5,164 small business owners from July 31 to August 5.
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