Paying rent during the COVID Crisis has been a challenge for many small business owners since last spring. And it doesn’t seem to be getting any better.
Eight months into this devastating pandemic, more than one-third of small businesses are still having trouble paying their rent, according to our latest Alignable Pulse Poll of 7, 726 small business owners taken last week.
Right now, 34% of our small business owners report that they were NOT able to pay full rent in October.
Since May, this number has bounced between 32% and 34% each month, and with the federal government struggling to pass more PPP-type funding, the rent issue isn’t likely to improve in the near future.
Industries Pummeled By Rent Demands
Looking at the sectors most affected by rent struggles, there’s a wide range of both B2C and B2B categories, but B2C businesses top the list.
While the overall national figure is 34%, a whopping 46% of beauty salons and barber shops were unable to pay their full rent in October.
And it wasn’t much easier for restaurants and gyms, which are still coping with ongoing, prohibitive restrictions. Some 40% of small businesses in those industries couldn’t come up with the full rent they owed.
Meanwhile, entertainers, consumer retailers, and travel agents, as well as others in tourism-related businesses, are also facing challenges making their rent.
See the chart below for more details:
Of course, none of this is a surprise given that consumer confidence is in a crisis state thanks in large part to ongoing COVID resurgences. Another recent poll we conducted shows that quite clearly.
In that poll, we asked what would help small business owners the most right now. The largest percentage (35%) replied that lowering the COVID case counts would be most beneficial so that consumer confidence could rise.
That’s in contrast to just 21% who said that more federal aid would help them the most. To see more on that poll and several others, please take a look at Alignable’s State Of Small Business: Road To Recovery Report, October Edition.