Here’s what SMEs think
According to the PNC survey, SMB owners strongly support vaccinations for COVID-19 and plan to encourage their employees to get the shots, in order to get back to normal.
The data found that 48% plan to require employees to get vaccinated, while a third indicated they will provide education about vaccination. Nearly 22% intend to provide incentives to their employees who vaccinate. In fact, 45% expect the growing availability of vaccinations to have a positive impact on their sales.
The combination of higher operating costs and the anticipation of stable sales suggests small businesses will start feeling even more of a “squeeze” in their operations than they already are experiencing.
This way, almost half say that they are facing challenges to stay in business and nearly 1 in 4 revealed they can only continue to operate in the current economic conditions for up to a year.
As a result, business owners reported that price hikes may be in store. Among survey respondents, 40% indicated that they plan to increase prices in the next six months, up from fewer than a third in the fall survey.
Meanwhile, 9 in 10 business owners report making adaptations to their operations in response to COVID-19. They include health and safety changes in the form of new policies and procedures (86%) or physical modifications (78%). Of those, over two-thirds of businesses said they expect safety changes forced by the pandemic to be permanent.
More than half of business leaders made product-related changes, either in the way they sell or deliver their products or services (51%) or in their product offerings (23%). Indeed, 54% of those making product-related changes also expect them to be permanent.
We’ve reported that two Nordic countries will issue digital vaccine certificates.