The record-breaking inflation rate has led to a stalled recovery (or recovery reversal) for small businesses across North America, as Alignable’s November Road to Recovery reveals. This report is based on a poll of 3,430 small business owners from 10/30/21 to 11/9/21, as well as 655,000 historical responses from SMBs since March 2020.
More than 20 months after COVID first struck, 73% of small businesses have yet to recover fully, an all-time high this year. That figure represents an 8% spike since July and a 3% increase since last month.
Even worse, 85% of minority-owned businesses are still struggling to match their pre-COVID revenues, along with 77% of veteran-owned firms and 76% of those owned by women.
Business owner sentiment this past month was more of the same – with some ups and downs. There were slight improvements in the percentage of businesses that felt that COVID’s impact was on the decline. But at the same time, we saw a slight decline in businesses saying it was not impacting their businesses.
Overall 63% of business owners report still feeling some negative impact on their businesses from the COVID crisis with 33% stating the impact is still very significant.
Small business recovery experiences reflect two extremes once again, with more people noting that they’re in worse shape than they’ve been, while some are having their best year ever.
“The supply chain is a joke, inflation is out of control, and now they want to raise taxes! Does Washington know what’s going on?” a businessman told the survey company.
This month’s data showed a reversal of the slight improvement we saw last month with 67% of businesses reporting being fully reopened in contrast to last month’s 70%.
In October, there was hope to see that number climb north of 80% before the year’s end.
But given this month’s setback, it seems that breaking the 70% barrier again might be all we can hope for in 2021.
It’s different by industry. But many have a long, long way to go. What is known is during each of the past 6 months of tracking recovery predictions, the prospects have continued to shift out signaling a longer overall recovery period.
Right now, only 27% of businesses are currently reporting they are at or above pre-COVID revenue levels. (That’s 8% worse than the 35% we reported in July and 3% worse compared to October).
Mission Accomplished status requires to get to the point where at least 80% of businesses report being at or above pre-COVID revenues.