The coronavirus outbreak in the Southern U.S. appears to be waning, but that doesn’t mean businesses are dropping their guard.
The majority of small businesses nationwide say they’re preparing for a resurgence of coronavirus. They’re snapping up additional supplies to preempt shortages, updating their websites, increasing e-commerce offerings, and expanding digital payment options. That’s according to the latest and final poll on the impact of the coronavirus on small businesses released Wednesday by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and MetLife. The online survey of approximately 500 U.S. business owners took place between July 9 and July 16.
And that’s if they can stay open. While more businesses (86 percent) say they’ve opened their doors since the last survey, which was conducted at the end of May, about 65 percent of businesses remain concerned about having to once again shutter their business if there is a second wave of Covid-19.
Those concerns and lower revenue prospects are putting rehiring plans in limbo for some businesses. Nearly a quarter of those surveyed said they had fewer employees than they did prior to the pandemic. And among them, nearly half say it could take anywhere from three months to a year before they’re back up to pre-pandemic levels.
Still, they want to hire at least some people back. Thirty percent, compared to 23 percent in the last survey, say they plan to take on more new employees in the next year than they did in the prior quarter.