Small Businesses Balk at Mandatory Shots

Outside of the foodservice industry, few shop owners will require vaccines, survey finds.

February 15, 2021

NEW YORK—While large corporations are giving employees incentives to get their COVID-19 vaccines when it’s their turn and in some cases are requiring the shots, few small business owners plan to require that their employees get inoculated against the virus, according to a new CNBC|SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey, CNBC reports.

In the survey, 42% of small business owners indicated they won’t mandate vaccinations against COVID-19, while 22% said they do intend to require the shots when available. The online survey was conducted January 25-31 among 2,157 small business owners nationwide.

Small foodservice and hospitality providers were more likely to report support for required vaccinations, although enthusiasm is still muted. The survey found that 28% of business owners in this group plan to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for their staff, 33% said they are undecided and 32% said they won’t require the vaccines.

Public health officials see vaccines as a needed step toward fully reopening the U.S. economy. The pandemic has hit small businesses especially hard, with the survey finding that 43% of owners polled have had to shut down operations at some point because of the pandemic. Among these, 20% said they have reopened with limited capacity, 10% said they haven’t reopened and 4% said they have opened and closed several times.
Just over half of small business owners said they could continue operating for more than a year under the current business conditions which have limited their operations.

Meanwhile, NBC News has launched a Plan Your Vaccine tool to help Americans find out when and where they can sign up to receive a COVID-19 vaccine according their state, occupation and age group. The tool compiles data from the CDC and state health departments.

Find opportunity within the COVID-19 crisis and discover answers to guide your post-pandemic plan by exploring the COVID Survival Pack—a four-hour learning experience filled with tips and advice for navigating a range of operational challenges, including people, vendors and systems in a post-pandemic workplace. Watch the COVID Survival Pack today.

Coronavirus Resources

NACS has compiled resources to help the convenience retail community navigate the COVID-19 crisis, including information about how to educate employees about the vaccines and other vaccine-related human resources advice. For news updates and guidance, visit our coronavirus resources page.