As 2021 comes to a close, Alignable’s December Road To Recovery Report, released today, shows a significant uptick in the small business recovery, which is welcome news. But will it last? Many are asking that question, as concerns about rising COVID cases are escalating among many different sectors – travel, restaurants, retail, event planners, gym owners and more.
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So, we have both uplifting and worrisome insights to report this month, based on 5,818 small business owners polled from 12/4/21 to 12/26/21, along with 660,000 responses since March 2020.
Revenues For Small Businesses Increase
The Good News: Long-missing revenues and customers returned for more small businesses in December, compared to last month. In fact, 43% reported monthly revenues that matched or exceeded pre-COVID levels. That’s a 16% increase over 27% in November – the largest monthly jump in recovery revenues seen in all of 2021.
And retailers had a very good month, going from a bleak 24% saying they’re fully recovered in November to an encouraging 41% in December. Month-over-month increases looked good for a variety of small business categories, which was encouraging:
While 43% of small business owners say they’ve fully recovered, and that’s exciting compared to the rest of 2021, that still means the majority (57%) have yet to recover. And most predict it will take until the middle of 2023 until full recovery comes.
Omicron Threat - Mixed Outlook
Looking ahead, 44% of those polled said they’re worried Omicron will affect them negatively, while 44% of their peers say they’re not worried at all.
But when you examine the most-affected business sectors throughout the pandemic, you see more widespread worry among:
- 70% of travel/lodging professionals
- 69% of restaurants
- 68% of massage therapists
- 67% of event planners
- 58% of retailers
- 56% of gym owners
- 55% of car dealers/repair shop owners.
While inflation is the No.1 concern across the board, fears over the government forcing shutdowns has doubled in a month (from 11% to 23%).
Many more insights can be seen by reviewing Alignable’s December Road To Recovery Report here.