By ALAN WOOTEN
THE CENTER SQUARE
(The Center Square) – Struggles for small businesses in New York are evident in a new nationwide study comparing ability to pay rent.
For the month of May, 36% – above the national average of 33% – of the Empire State’s small businesses were unable to pay rent either in full or on time. The measure was 24% in April for New York, and 28% across the country.
New York was third worst behind Massachusetts (42%) and Georgia (40%).
Alignable, an online network company for small businesses to generate leads, prospects, referrals and relationships, said its survey randomly checked with 5,321 small business owners across the country between May 7-31. Compared to six months ago, 54% in New York are paying more in rent – including 6% paying more than 20% more, and 12% paying between 10% and 20% more. The national average is an increase of 52%.
Twenty-nine percent of the more than 5,000 survey respondents said they are fully recovered, meaning matching or exceeding monthly revenues earned before the COVID-19 pandemic began.
In the national numbers, industries having the toughest time making rent were restaurants (41%), beauty salons (40%), retailers (40%), travel and lodging (36%), animal hospitals and shelters (34%), and construction (34%). Below the national average were industries for automotives (30%), events (30%), manufacturing (24%) and massage therapists (17%).
Measured by minority ownership, 56% can’t afford rent nationally. It’s 31% for women-owned businesses and 27% for veteran-owned.
Alignable earlier produced a Small Business Inflation Study, which showed supply-related expenses, gas prices and elevated labor costs were key factors that “have stymied or even reversed the growth of the small business economy.”
The analysis says “38% say they have one month or less of cash on hand to get them through (yet another) rough patch.”