SMBs Are Upbeat, But Worry Whether Recovery Will Last: Study

Small business owners are enjoying a boom, perhaps helped by email and other forms of marketing. Monthly revenues matched or exceeded pre-COVID levels for 43% this month, according to December Road to Recovery, a study by Alignable.  

That figure is up from 27% in November. And 41% say they are fully recovered, versus 24% in November. But many worry if it will last, and most fear inflation.  

For one thing, 44% are worried about the impact of Omicron on their businesses. But another 44% are not concerned. Still, 23% fear government-forced shutdowns, up from 11% last month.  

Then there are practical day-to-day issues. For instance, 31% say their cost of supplies and inventory has risen by more than 25%, versus the pre-COVID-19 period. Another 34% say these costs have gone up by 11% to 25%.  

All of these hikes have not necessarily been passed on to customers. Of those polled, 10% have increased their prices by more than 25%. And 17% have hiked them by 11% to 25%. Another 45% say they are the same. 

Then there is the difficulty of finding employees. While 28% say the challenges are the same, 29% report they are significantly more difficult, and 15% a little more so. 

Employee costs have risen by 25% or more for 13%, by 11% to 25% for 27% and from 1% to 10% for 23%. And they are the same for 35%. 

The groups most worried based on the pandemic impact include:

  • Travel/lodging professionals—70%
  • Restaurants—69% 
  • Massage therapists—68% 
  • Event planners—67% 
  • Retailers—58% 
  • Gym owners—56%
  • Car dealers/repair shop owners—55%

Alignable surveyed 5,818 small business owners from December 4-26  while tracking 660,000 responses received since March 2020. 



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