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Many small businesses worry that social distancing will kill them: Survey



A cone to promote social distancing sits on the floor of a restaurant and bar in Austin, Texas, USA, Saturday, May 23, 2020.

Alex Scott | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Governors across the United States allow restaurants to reopen, some limited to outdoor seating but others at full capacity. A new survey shows a reason why there is pressure to get Main Street businesses to eat back to normal: over half (55%) of small business owners are concerned that continued social distancing measures that limit business capacity will harm their chances of survival.

It shows a new survey from Verizon Business, released Monday, which was conducted by Morning Consult and focused on 600 small and medium-sized businesses that are currently open or planning to reopen. The national study was conducted August 26 to September 4, 2020 and examined businesses in a wide range of industries, from construction and retail to restaurants, bars and real estate.

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

Although business owners are concerned about the ongoing impact of the public health crisis, many feel better about their financial health. than in April when closures spread across the United States. Conditions are still challenging. Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed reported declining sales, an improvement from 78% in April.

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

"It's crucial for us to understand the barriers our small business customers face," said TJ Fox, president of Verizon. Business Markets, in a survey release.

Work From Home on Main Street

Small businesses adapt to the new work environment created by the Covid-1

9 pandemic, with 36% saying they have implemented new systems or technologies to allow for external collaboration. However, among these companies, 67% reported challenges and risks for employee burnout. Fifty-six percent of small businesses with external staff say that from home the lines between work and private life are blurred.

But as in the business world, the picture is mixed when it comes to work from home. Sixty-two percent of small businesses with external staff say teleworking has enabled employees to balance work and personal responsibilities more effectively, but 59% of small businesses with external staff say that teleworking has made it harder for employees to feel connected to each other . Less than half (49%) say teleworking has increased employee satisfaction and morale.

Another important finding related to the coronavirus policy: 81% of small business owners, regardless of party affiliation, say that the election in 2020 will affect the small business sector, while 57% say that it will have direct consequences for their business. These findings come as lawmakers in Washington D.C. is still negotiating a new round of financial relief for companies, as well as changes in the loan requirements of the existing wage protection program.


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