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Half of Small Business Owners Fear New Business Restrictions Would Force Them Out of Business

  • Alignable survey of more than 9,000 small business owners finds that about half believe a new lockdown could force them to close
  • Travel and hospitality industry shows the most pessimism about being able to endure new restrictions
  • Connecticut has not implemented new restrictions since rolling back its reopening plan last month

A recent survey of more than 9,000 small business owners finds that roughly half fear they’ll need to close permanently if they have to endure another lockdown.

The Alignable survey highlighted the ongoing struggles of the industries that have already suffered deep losses due to COVID-19, including travel and hospitality, gyms and fitness companies, beauty salons, consumer retail, and restaurants. Those in the travel and hospitality industry were most likely to fear another lockdown, with 62 percent saying they did not think they would survive it. Restaurants were more optimistic, although 45 percent did not believe they could get through the winter with renewed restrictions.

Forty-eight percent of respondents said they need to make at least 90 percent of their 2019 revenues in the fourth quarter in order to stay afloat in 2021, although only 24 percent thought they would be able to hit that level. A third wave of COVID-19 infections has also made business owners more concerned about the virus’s effect on their revenues; after steadily increasing optimism over the summer and into October, half of the respondents in November said the pandemic has “really” impacted their business.

Connecticut rolled back to a modified version of Phase 2 restrictions in November due to an increase in COVID-19 infections. Governor Ned Lamont has resisted calls from some in the medical community to tighten business restrictions, in part due to concern over the economic fallout from such an order, but has said this action could be necessary if COVID-19 cases begin to strain hospital capacities.

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