AUSTIN (1080 KRLD) - Small business owners surveyed by the Texas office of the National Federation of Independent Business say customer and employee health are their top concerns when it comes to rebooting the Texas economy.
NFIB, the nation's leading small business advocacy organization, asked its Texas members on Wednesday and Thursday in response to
Texas Governor Greg Abbott's plan to allow a wide range of businesses to begin reopening as early as Friday. NFIB presented the results to the governor's Strike Force to Open Texas this morning.
"It's clear from the survey that our members' No. 1 priority is protecting their customers and employees safe and preventing the spread of COVID-19," NFIB State Director Annie Spilman said.
When asked how concerned they are about managing employees' health and safety concerns, 70.6% of members who responded to the survey answered they are very or moderately concerned. When asked whether they are concerned about managing customers' health and safety concerns, 68% are very or moderately concerned.
The online survey found that 74.2% of respondents are very or moderately concerned about having to comply with new health and safety regulations related to the coronavirus:
• 72.8% are concerned about getting hand sanitizer and disinfectant.
• 49% said it would not be too difficult or would not be difficult to train employees on the Centers for Disease Control's guidelines for preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus; 21.9% said it would be moderately to very difficult. The rest didn't know/didn't answer.
• 48% said it would be relatively easy for them to disinfect workstations and equipment frequently; 23.7% said it would be difficult.
• 40.6% said it would be relatively easy for employees to wear face masks; 31% said it would be difficult.
• 37.7% said it be relatively easy to maintain at least 6 feet of social distancing; 34.5% said it would be difficult.
Spilman said, "Shelter-in-place and social distancing have taken a tremendous toll on small businesses. Half of the small businesses nationwide surveyed this month by NFIB say they can survive only two months under current conditions and about a third believed they could hang on another three to six months. "Our members need to reopen, and they appreciate Governor Abbott's commonsense approach to reopening Texas's economy. Our members understand that rebooting the Texas economy won't be like rebooting a laptop. It's going to take time, and 'retail-to-go' is the first step in allowing merchants reopen and reconnect with customers while minimizing contact and maintaining social distancing."