Small businesses support COVID-19 vaccine requirements amid setbacks from the Delta variant
As the federal government implements a series of new COVID-19 vaccination requirements to mitigate the impacts of the Delta variant, new opinion polling from Small Business Majority reveals that small businesses around the country are facing setbacks from the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, and they’re supportive of measures to require proof of vaccination and testing at places of business to ensure local economies can stay open safely.
The survey finds that the vast majority (84%) of small businesses are concerned about the rise of the Delta variant and its effects on their business and the local economy, and more than half (53%) are very concerned. The rise in COVID-19 cases is also harming small businesses in a number of ways, including a decrease in customer demand (50%), disruption in plans for expansion or growth (49%), supply chain disruptions (48%), an increase in employees taking sick leave (24%), and customers and/or employees expressing safety concerns (45%). What’s more, 38% of small businesses report that business conditions are on the decline compared to a month ago.
With COVID-19 cases surging around the country due to the Delta variant, some localities have considered implementing new public health requirements, with cities like New Orleans and San Francisco requiring proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test in public spaces like restaurants, bars, gyms, movie theaters and more. At the same time, the White House recently announced it will require businesses with more than 100 employees to mandate proof of vaccination or a weekly negative COVID-19 test as a condition of employment. The survey reveals that small businesses are supportive of vaccination requirements at places of business, and many have already implemented vaccine policies on their own:
- Fifty-four percent support state mandate requiring certain public-facing businesses like restaurants, theaters and gyms to require customers to provide proof of vaccination and/or a recent negative COVID-19 test.
- The majority (51%) of small businesses with employees support their state requiring businesses to mandate vaccinations and/or weekly testing for employees, compared to 42% who oppose it.
- More than 1 in 3 small businesses (36%) already require all or some of their employees to be vaccinated, and 21% are considering doing so.
- Twenty-five percent require proof of vaccination from some or all of their customers or are considering requiring it.
Additionally, many small businesses continue to require the use of face masks in their place of business, with 65% requiring all or some customers to wear a mask. An additional 65% expressed support for state and local mask mandates.
As this survey reveals, small businesses are concerned about the Delta variant’s impact on their business and the economy. With nearly 1 in 5 small businesses facing a potential closure in the next six months, they need more certainty in order to keep their businesses open effectively and safely. They want government officials to take action to keep the pandemic under control and boost consumer confidence, and they support COVID-19 vaccination and testing policies that will do just that.