An August survey indicates small retailers have substantial fears about their sales rebounding in 2020 as the effects of the pandemic continue. San Diego County has many Main Street mainstays, including the Normal Heights business district.

Results from a recent survey by an online small business network indicates that small retailers fear substantial drops in revenue as 2020 comes to a close.

According to Alignable, a third of retail businesses, already beset by losses due to the pandemic, predict that their sales will plummet more than 50% in the final quarter of 2020.

Nearly 70% expect to experience at least some drop off.

The timing is crucial, particularly for retailers, many of whom depend on robust holiday sales to turn a profit for the year.

Alignable concluded that 35% of the businesses could face closure if sales don’t beat the alarming projections.

The fear, said Eric Groves, Alignable’s founder and CEO, is that “if consumer demand doesn’t change rapidly, many Main Streets could resemble ghost towns next year.”

The trickle-down effect may hit the job market too. The network cites the National Retail Federation, which said shops employed up to 560,000 temporary workers during the holidays last year.

If business owners don’t expect sales to rise, those numbers could slip – or worse – while unemployment remains high in California and the U.S. due to COVID-19.

The poll results also showed that the majority, 90% of those surveyed, have re-opened their businesses as officials have eased public health orders related to the pandemic. Nearly three-quarters of respondents, though said that they continue to suffer negative impacts.

Alignable, a referral network for small business owners, based the results on a survey of 1,361 small retailers in the U.S. and Canada in mid-August.

– Staff reports