The long road out of COVID-19 is strewn with potholes and other hazards, not least the Delta variant.
The highly contagious variant was first discovered in India in late 2020 and now accounts for the majority of cases in Canada and various other countries.
For example, 95 per cent of all positive tests in British Columbia in the last week of July were the result of Delta infections, reports the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.
Undertandably, small businesses, which represent one of the most devastatingly affected demographics during the pandemic, fear that the spread of the variant will severely hinder their recovery.
According to Alignable’s August Recovery Poll, 76 per cent of all small businesses fear that Delta variant surges will stall or even reverse the progress that many have made over the past few months.
That data includes the fact that 88 per cent of restaurant owners are concerned about the Delta variant damaging their already-fragile businesses. That represents the highest proportion among the demographics surveyed, ahead of 87 per cent of travel professionals, 86 per cent of event planners, 81 per cent of entertainers, and 77 per cent of retailers.
The majority (55 per cent) of restaurant owners surveyed said they are “highly concerned”.
And 47 per cent of all small businesses owners cite government shutowns due to Delta variant surges as their No. 1 concern right now, above inflation, labour shortages, and other hurdles.
Among all of the negative effects that the Delta variant could produce, the top three concerns were that:
- Customer fears would escalate, preventing visits to shops or offices
- Businesses could be negatively impacted, resulting in lost revenue
- Employees, customers, and vendors could become ill
Read the full report here.