New National Small Business Survey Finds Support for COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements at Public-facing Businesses

For Immediate Release: 
Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Poll finds that more than 1 in 3 small businesses already require all or some of their employees to be vaccinated

Washington, D.C. - Small Business Majority released a new survey today that reveals the vast majority (84%) of small businesses around the country are concerned about the rise in the Delta variant and its effect on their business and local economy, and 54% support a state mandate for certain public-facing businesses to require customers to provide proof of vaccination and/or a recent negative COVID-19 test. 

Amid President Biden’s new action plan to require COVID-19 vaccines and testing for all businesses with 100 or more employees and increasing county and city-wide COVID-19 vaccine and testing mandates, the national poll reveals that the rise in COVID-19 cases is harming small business operations. In fact, 38% of small businesses reported that their business conditions were on the decline compared to a month ago. Additionally, half reported a decline in consumer demand and 48% reported supply chain disruptions, while 45% shared that their customers and/or employees expressed safety concerns. 

With COVID-19 cases surging across the country, many small businesses continue to require and support mitigation tactics that will help them stay open safely, including the following: 

  • 51% of small businesses with employees support their state requiring businesses to mandate vaccinations and/or weekly testing for employees

  • 36% already require all or some of their employees to be vaccinated, and 21% are considering doing so

  • 25% require proof of vaccination from some or all of their customers or are considering requiring it 

  • 65% require all or some customers to wear a mask, and an additional 65% expressed support for state and local mask mandates 

“The fear of the long-term effects of the coronavirus on my employees, families and business operations weighs heavily on my mind every day,” said Lesia Daniel-Hollingshead, Co-owner of Funtime Preschool and Afterschool in Clinton, Miss. “I would love to be able to operate with a 100% vaccination rate for all of our employees. But I know that without a federal vaccine mandate, I will have to rely on personal relationships to enforce measures that will keep my employees and families safe. I want to do all that I can to protect everyone who's involved with Funtime, but small business owners like me need more certainty and guidance to do so. Enacting COVID-19 vaccine and testing requirements is a tool that we have in our toolbox to protect our businesses, our employees and our customers.”

​“Widespread vaccination remains the most effective pathway toward building a strong economic recovery from the pandemic for our small business community,” said John Arensmeyer, Founder & CEO of Small Business Majority. “Small business owners are facing significant setbacks stemming from the Delta variant, and they need bold action from their elected officials to get the pandemic under control and ensure businesses can operate safely and efficiently. They know that COVID-19 vaccination and testing policies will provide the support they need to minimize disruptions and improve business conditions.”

The survey reflects the opinions of 488 small business owners in Small Business Majority’s network fielded between August 29, 2021 through September 19, 2021. To read the full report, visit: 

About Small Business Majority

Small Business Majority is a national small business organization that empowers America's diverse entrepreneurs to build a thriving and equitable economy. We engage our network of more than 85,000 small businesses and 1,500 business and community organizations to advocate for public policy solutions and deliver resources to entrepreneurs that promote equitable small business growth. Our deep connections with the small business community along with our scientific research enable us to educate the public about key issues impacting America’s entrepreneurs, with a special focus on advancing the smallest businesses and those facing systemic inequalities. Learn more about us on our website and follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

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