New Poll: California Small Businesses Support Statewide COVID-19 Vaccine and Testing Mandate

For Immediate Release: 
Tuesday, August 31, 2021

New survey from Small Business Majority finds 6 in 10 California small business owners support a proposed vaccine mandate at public-facing businesses

Sacramento, Calif. - A new opinion poll released by Small Business Majority today finds that small businesses in California are facing setbacks from the current surge in COVID-19 cases, and they’re supportive of proposals to mandate vaccinations and testing to help businesses stay open safely. 

The survey finds that the vast majority (88%) of California small businesses are concerned about the rise of the Delta variant and its effects on their business and the local economy, and 53% are very concerned. Approximately 3 in 10 small businesses report that their business conditions are declining compared to a month ago. What’s more, small business owners report that the surge in coronavirus cases has fueled several disruptions to business operations, including: 

  • A decline in consumer demand (47%)

  • Disruption to the expansion or growth of their business (46%)

  • Disruption to their supply chain (37%)

  • An increase in employees taking sick leave (25%)

While state lawmakers have decided to hold legislation requiring proof of vaccination at places of business until 2022, the survey finds there is strong support among small businesses for this idea. Sixty-one percent of small businesses support a 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. An additional 59% of small businesses with employees would support a state law requiring businesses to mandate vaccinations and/or weekly testing for employees. 

Additional findings from the survey include: 

  • 82% require all or some customers to wear a mask, with 62% requiring it for all customers

  • 75% support state and local mask mandates

  • 47% of California small businesses already require all or some of their employees to be vaccinated, and another 24% are considering doing so

  • 29% already require proof of vaccination from some or all of their customers, and another 11% are considering requiring it

“To protect our local economy and our small businesses, we must enact bold policies that will give California small businesses the support they need to operate at capacity while staying safe,” said Mark Herbert, Chief Strategy Officer and California Managing Director for Small Business Majority. “Small businesses in California and across the country have experienced tremendous challenges on their road to recovery from the pandemic, and we’re not out of the woods yet. California has taken important steps to bolster our small business community throughout the pandemic, and our new survey reveals that they are looking for additional guidance that will ensure a resilient recovery even under the threats of the Delta variant. We must do all that we can to boost consumer confidence and ensure safe workplace returns.”

The survey reflects the opinions of 353 small business owners in California between August 18, 2021 through August 30, 2021. The sample comprises respondents in Small Business Majority’s network and an online panel from Momentive (formerly SurveyMonkey). 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 80,000 small businesses and 1,000 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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