What's Happening with Small Businesses as They Open Back Up?

A small sampling of what is happening within the small business community.

by Eric Holdeman / June 4, 2020

Here's some survey results from Alignable. Small businesses have to have the customers come back if they hope to become economically viable in the near future. 

Based on Alignable Pulse Polls of 88,000+ small business owners, their greatest recovery concerns are having sufficient financial resources, and helping customers overcome COVID-related fears associated with returning to their businesses.  

The June report covers:

  • Current coronavirus financial impact levels
  • Reopening status and anticipated permanent closures
  • Small business customer demand
  • Revenues and the ability to pay rent and other expenses
  • Hiring and anticipated employee growth
  • Small business recovery timeline

Following are a few report highlights, reflecting small business owners’ struggles, early triumphs, and other sentiments.

Top Statistics from New Alignable Polls:

  • Reopening Surge! 68% of small businesses are open now -- a promising start. However, only 40% are fully open -- the remaining 28% currently offer fewer products or services. And 3% say they’re closed for good.
  • Feeling Anxious About Customer Fears: Less than 50% of customers have returned, and 25% of business owners worry they’ll be scared to come back. Making customers feel safe and comfortable is priority No. 1. 
  • Employment Situation: Only 47% of pre-COVID-19 employees are back on the payroll, but small businesses expect to hire another 7% by the end of June.

Top Quotes from Small Business Owners:

  • “We are thrilled that we are open again. We've had to reduce our open hours, so that we can do cleaning. But we’re ready and excited to have customers come and enjoy our beautiful gallery.” Jane, Gallery Owner in CA
  • “The Wedding Industry is almost non-existent. People are too afraid to celebrate.” Maxine, Bridal & Event Coordinator in TX
  • “You might think we’re lucky to stay open during this episode of virus propagation. However, we are bleeding slowly with increased operating costs (20% -- PPE & FOOD) and salaries (20%, hiring more staff), and decreasing income (15%). All this is to say that we will not be able to hold on much longer unless we can accept new clients sooner than later. Of course, it can only be done safely.” Albert, Senior Living Center in ON
  • “Good news, before the coronavirus, the most in-home appointments we had set were 40 in one week. Last week, we set 85 in-home appointments! The effects were very hard for several weeks. We are meeting the consumers’ safety needs and we are seeing a bounce-back in the areas we serve. Now Hiring!” Josh, Home Services in KY

To see a variety of other small business sentiments, trends, polls and analysis about the recovery process, click here for the full report.

Survey Methodology: Alignable.com is the largest online referral network for small businesses with more than 5 million members across North America. Alignable surveys are conducted via email with a random sample of the network’s vast membership database. 

Sample sizes range from 100,000 to 1 million small business owners, depending on the poll. Alignable’s samples are well matched to the U.S. Census Bureau data of U.S. Businesses with 100 employees or less.

The polls in this release and the June report were conducted from May 23-25, 2020 among 88,769 small business owners. Alignable’s surveys are the most immediate and comprehensive polls available reflecting the sentiments of small business owners in North America.

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