In its latest Alignable Pulse Poll of 7, 726 small business owners, 34% of the respondents say they are struggling to pay their rent in October. This news comes as the pandemic continues to disrupt business operations across the board eight months on.
The Alignable poll, which was taken in the first week of October shows the number is two percent higher than September (32%). And there is no shortage of industries that are getting hammered by rent demand from their landlords.
Small Business Struggling to Pay October Rent
Overall, the national number is at 34%, however, there are some industries particularly hit hard. This includes B2C and B2B businesses. But the B2C segment is hurting because they rely so much on customers.
Forty-six percent of beauty salons and barbershops say they are not able to pay their full rent in October. And as for the restaurant and gym/fitness industries, 40% of small business owners have the same problem.
The entertainment industry is next at 38%. This covers everything from small theaters to concert venues, movies and many other small businesses operating in this segment. Although the front face of this industry is generally large enterprises, it is small businesses that provide the supporting service. These small companies provide everything from catering, to security, vending, janitorial services, and much more.
The numbers do not look much better for consumer retail (36%), travel (36%), construction (32%), marketing and advertising (32%), legal (31%), and health and fitness (30%).
Solving the Problem
In the survey, Alignable asked what would solve their current predicament. And 35% or the majority say lowering the number of COVID-19 will be beneficial. This they say will increase consumer confidence which in turn will get more people to come out and spend.
Another 21% say more federal aid is the way to go. And as President Trump and Congress negotiate the next stimulus package, time will tell if it comes in time for many small businesses to pay their rent and stay in business.
The insights Alignable is providing with its polls and reports are invaluable. You can take a look at the monthly data in its ‘The Road To Recovery: State of Small Business Report’ series for more. October’s report.
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2020 has definitely accelerated the trend of a more digitalized workforce. It will be interesting to see how quickly (if at all) smaller businesses will be able to catch up. Business owners may begin to realize a physical location is much less of a necessity than it has been historically. Very sad though to see small businesses go through extremely challenging and unprecedented times like these.
Running at vastly reduced capacity when your rest was set based on full capacity makes for a tough situation. Stay strong!
Michael, can you tell us what is the difference between gyms/fitness and the health & wellness categories. Thank you!