- 31% of small retailers are still unable to pay their rent this month, according to an April rent report from Alignable, an online referral network for small businesses.
- The picture is decidedly much worse for minority-owned businesses, as 53% couldn’t pay their full rent in April.
- Worldwide, more than 97% of the 2.4 million merchants that shuttered for good last year were retailers, restaurants and hospitality businesses, according to research from IHL Group.
Daphne Howland from Retail Dive writes:
“The pandemic relief packages provided by the federal government last year and early this year had some provisions to support smaller businesses reeling from the pandemic. But the decision in most jurisdictions to allow “essential businesses” to remain open disproportionately hurt independent retailers, especially those outside Europe and North America that didn’t receive such relief, according to IHL President Greg Buzek.
Some jurisdictions took more drastic measures than others, as when city officials in Portland, Maine, last year briefly forbade nonessential businesses of all sizes to conduct curbside, delivery or mail order, under threat of hefty fines and loss of their business license.
“While the pandemic has been challenging to companies of all size, it has been particularly devastating to the smallest companies worldwide,” Buzek said in a statement. “As governments defined ‘essential vs non-essential’ companies, they unwittingly oversaw the largest transfer of retail wealth ever from smaller to larger companies.”
The COVID-19 era has been rough for retailers with brick-and-mortar stores, especially the many smaller businesses that had to scramble to launch services like e-commerce and curbside pickup…”
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