3 of 4 small business owners in N.J. fear return of government restrictions

Survey shows fear by Jersey owners is much higher than counterparts across U.S.

Three out of four small businesses in New Jersey are worried they will see a return of restrictions that hinder their business due to the growing number of COVID-19 cases caused by the Delta variant, a recent survey by Alignable showed.

While 78% of those surveyed said they were “concerned” or “highly concerned” by the Delta variant, approximately two in three (65%) said government closures were their top concern.

The survey talked with 5,262 business owners nationwide from July 31-Aug. 8. It was featured in Alignable’s August Road to Recovery Report. The group broke out New Jersey statistics for ROI-NJ.

Businesses across the county have approximately the same concerns about the Delta variant, but the high fear of government restrictions was unique to New Jersey. While 65% of New Jersey small business owners said it’s their top worry right now — only 47% of business owners nationally felt that way.

Those fears were the same in a few key industries. A look:

  • Retail: 84% in New Jersey vs. 50% nationally;
  • Transportation: 75% to 66%;
  • Gyms: 86% to 77%;
  • Salons: 74% to 65%.

The only sector where fears of government restrictions was greater outside of the state was construction, as it a top concern for 65% nationally, but 63% in the state.

One thing is certain across the country: The pandemic is making it difficult to find workers. Some 61% of New Jersey businesses (and 59% of businesses nationally) report they are having a hard time filling jobs. This is a jump of 9 percentage points from July.

In addition, 72% of small business owners everywhere said they are more likely to hire someone who has been fully vaccinated compared with those who have yet to receive vaccines.