A majority of US customers (59%) say they are likelier to support local businesses which follow Covid-19 safety guidelines. 75% support states implementing legislation that give businesses the legal right to refuse to serve non-social distancing abiding customers. 61% of consumers believe practicing social distancing should be a legal requirement for businesses.
These were the findings of a new national survey by Consumer Reports (CR). CR is a non-profit consumer research, testing, and advocacy organization. The CR American Experiences Survey was carried out between June 4 to 16. This was prior to the surge of new coronavirus cases that have surfaced throughout the US. The research interviewed a representative sample of 1,014 US adults.
Majority Will Support a Business Following Virus Safety Guidelines
The survey examined the impact the pandemic has had on the attitudes, behaviors, and finances of consumers. The report is important in the sense it provides small businesses with insight into the thoughts of consumers about the spread of the virus. Such knowledge could prove vital as businesses start to reopen and prioritize the need to keep customers safe.
Commenting on the findings of the report, Kristen Purcell, CR’s Chief Research Officer said:
“Just prior to the current surge in cases across many parts of the country, most Americans were still very concerned about the continued spread of Covid in their local communities. And while a majority also told us they were following recommended safety measures most of the time, the survey data show sizeable segments of the population were not adhering to CDC guidelines at that time.
“It’s not surprising then that many Americans would support measures to encourage greater compliance,” Purcell continued.
Importance of Following Recommended Safety Measures
Six in ten Americans (61%) say practical social distancing measures should be a legal requirement for businesses. With this in mind, it is within every business’s interest to show consumers they are actively supporting safety compliance. Failing to do so, could put a business at risk of disgruntling customers to the point they avoid using the business.
By following safety guidelines, businesses comply with the wishes of 59% of Americans who say they would support safety-adhering businesses.
Who has Responsibility Over Social Distancing Adherence?
Without consistent guidelines in place, US consumers are divided as to who has responsibility of maintaining safety enforcement mechanisms. 37% of those surveyed said they believe local businesses are responsible. 36% say the responsibility of social distancing compliance lies with the customer. 8% of participants believe the onus falls on local government or law enforcement agencies. Another 8% say they do not believe social distancing is necessary.
Concerns About the Spread of the Virus in Local Communities
More than three-thirds (76%) of consumers remain concerned about the spread of the virus locally. This includes 41% of the survey’s participants, who admitted to being “very concerned” about the spread. The number of Americans “very concerned” about the spread of Covid-19 has remained unchanged since May.
People of Color More Likely to be “Very Concerned”
The research examined different ethnic groups’ attitudes to the pandemic. It showed black consumers are likelier (58%) to be “very concerned” about the spread of the virus than other ethnicities. Hispanic consumers (47%) are more likely to be “very concerned” about the spread of coronavirus in their community. This compared to 37% of white adults with similar concerns.
The findings of the report highlight the importance for small businesses to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Failing to prioritize the health and safety of customers in local communities could come at the peril of small businesses.