Alignable Poll: 58% of Minority-Owned Businesses Can't Afford February Rent | Trade and Industry Development

Alignable Poll: 58% of Minority-Owned Businesses Can't Afford February Rent

Feb 08, 2021
Alignable's February Rent Poll shows that the ongoing struggle among small businesses to pay their rent on time and in full is only becoming worse as COVID continues to affect Main Streets across North America. 
Results from Alignable's February Rent Poll, conducted among 5,673 small business owners from 1/30/21 to 2/1/21, reveal that 38% of all small businesses couldn't make their rent payments this month, up 5% from January.
Across the board, rent problems have escalated in February among many groups and sectors, despite the promise of  the new PPP. Minorities, women, and small business owners in 15 different industries have reported increased difficulty in paying their rent.
Here are the latest statistics showing the financial struggles experienced by small businesses:
  • 58% of minority-owned businesses couldn't afford to pay their full rent this month, up 9% from last month. 
  • Women-owned businesses also saw an increase in rent issues, as 41% couldn't pay it in February, up 6% from January.
  • And nonminorities reported more financial stress this month, as 37% of them couldn't cover their rent, up 6% from last month, as well.
Beyond increased rent issues across all demographics, more industries than ever are reporting financial distress. Over 40% of small businesses in 15 top industries reported not paying their rent in February. 
That's up from 10 categories last month and six industries in December, showing that the ravages of the COVID threat continue to deepen and broaden for many small business owners. 
Caterers lead the pack this month as 62% of them report not being able to cover their February rent, largely because catering orders have diminished significantly, as most events, gatherings, and large office meetings or parties are no longer happening. Given that, it's not hard to imagine why 61% of event planners are in the same precarious situation with their rent.   
Other devastated industries on our expanded list include the following: gyms (58%), restaurants/bars (57%), travel agencies/hotels (50%), cleaning services (50%), interior designers (50%), beauty salons (49%), printers (46%), nonprofits (44%), repair shops (44%), retailers (43%), transportation providers (43%), consultants (41%), therapists (40%), entertainers/artists (40%), and message therapists (39%). 
More States Than Ever Are Experiencing A Rent Crisis
And as you review the data from a variety of states, you see a similar scenario. 
Many small businesses apparently need much more help than they're receiving, at least so far this year.  Some 40% (or more) of small businesses in NJ (49%), NY (47%), TN (46%),CA (44%), MD (42%), GA (41%), and CT (40%) couldn't pay February rent. 
In comparison, only three states weighed in over 4o% in January: New Jersey (41%), Maryland (41%), and Georgia (41%).  
Here's the situation for several other states in February. 
WA -- 39%
AZ -- 38%
CO -- 37%
NC -- 38%
OH -- 38%
PA -- 38%
MI -- 37%
VA -- 37%
FL -- 34%
TX -- 34%
IL -- 33%
WI -- 33%
MA -- 30%
For more details on this most recent Alignable Rent Poll and others, including the methodology behind them, please contact Chuck Casto at
To see all Alignable polls since March, go to the Alignable Research Center
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