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49% Of Minority-Owned SMBs Couldn’t Afford Their Rent in January


Results from Alignable’s January Rent Poll have just been released, revealing that rent payments are still a struggle for one-third (33%) of all small business owners. While the new PPP funds could improve this situation in the coming weeks, right now, millions of small businesses still can’t afford to pay their rent in full. 

Minority-owned businesses and restaurants/bars, yoga studios, and retail establishments are suffering the most, based on survey responses from 10,325 business owners last week. 

For the second month in a row, 49% of minority-owned businesses were unable to pay their full rent on time, compared to 35% of women-owned businesses, and 31% of nonminority-owned. 

More Sectors Are Suffering

And the news is even more alarming when focusing on different industries.  

More categories than ever are showing the lasting effects of dwindling customer counts, reclosures due to escalating COVID cases, cash flow crises, decreasing revenue, and related issues. More than 40% of the small business owners in ten different industries couldn’t earn enough to pay their rent in January.

The list of the most devastating industries has expanded this month to include: restaurants/bars (57%), yoga studios (46%), retailers (44%), massage therapists (43%), beauty salons (42%), printers (42%), interior designers (42%), wedding planners (41%), manufacturers (41%), and transportation providers (41%).  

This marks the first time since COVID began that so many different categories reflected such devastation. 

In comparison, Alignable’s December 2020 Rent Poll showed that only six industries had numbers 40% or higher: restaurants/bars (61%), beauty salons (46%), travel/hospitality (43%), gyms (41%), consumer retailers (40%), and massage therapists (40%).

And one month previously, only two industries — beauty salons (46%) and restaurants/bars (42%) — were in the 40%-plus range based on results from Alignable’s November Rent Poll. 

Given those comparisons, it’s clear that COVID’s negative effects are becoming more widespread as we start 2021. And according to other Alignable polls this month, most entrepreneurs do not expect to see much of a recovery until at least May 2021. 

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