Although hospitalizations and transmission rates for the omicron variant of the coronavirus are waning, New Jersey small business owners still have reason to worry with 64% reporting revenue losses in January – the largest percentage in any state in the nation, according to a new poll.
Nationwide, 53% of small business owners reported revenue losses, according to the Alignable Research Center’s January Omicron Poll of 6,218 small business owners in the U.S. and Canada, which was conducted between Jan. 15 and Jan. 25.
In all, 10 states exceeded the national average for businesses reporting revenue losses: New Jersey (64%), New York (60%), Michigan (58%), California (57%), Illinois (56%), Washington (56%), Ohio (54%), Massachusetts (53%), Maryland (53%), and Viriginia (51%).
Many business owners said that while it is comforting to hear that omicron cases are declining, that does not mean their customers, revenues, and staffers will suddenly be restored. Previous coronavirus surges show that problems for business owners can linger for months after the spike in cases declines.
Beyond the financial losses for January, business owners were asked if they feared the latest COVID-19 variant had hurt their long-term recovery. In all, 67% of small business owners said it had, compared to only 44% who felt that way in the December.
The severity of the impact of omicron has varied by industry. Nationwide, 90% of businesses in the entertainment industry and 80% of restaurants reported revenue losses due to omicron.
Other industries where business owners reported severe impacts were event planning (71%), gyms (68%), travel (67%) massage therapists (66%), manufacturers (65%), beauty salons (63%), nonprofits (61%), transportation providers (59%), and retailers (52%).