It is no secret that COVID-19 has created a major supply chain disruption. In fact, you have probably already heard the forewarnings to get your Christmas Shopping done early if you want it on time.
The U.S. Census Bureau’s Small Business Pulse Survey (SBPS) is designed to measure how COVID-19 is affecting small businesses, capturing the extent of some of these business disruptions.
The survey shows that 38.8% of U.S. small business respondents reported domestic supplier delays in the most recent and final week (7/12-7/18) of the SBPS’s Phase 5. That’s up from the 30.9% portion during the last week (4/12 –4/18) of Phase 4.
The percentage of businesses by sector that reported domestic supplier disruptions the last week of phase 5:
- Manufacturing, 64.6%.
- Retail, 59.8%.
- Construction, 58.5%.
- Accommodation and Food Services, 51.4%.
With the Delta variant spreading at even more rapid pace than the original COVID-19, the disruptions in the supply chain are going to increase. Plants across the world are having to close or decrease their employees, making it impossible to keep up with the demand and exposing America’s dependence on imports.
Retailers are already sounding alarms about their inability to keep up with demand due to other supply chain issues, including raw material and shipping container shortages. But around this time of the year, companies are gearing up for the busy holiday season.
For some stores, it remains unclear whether they’ll obtain the orders needed at fair prices; some are reporting increasing transportation costs are increasing on top of manufacturing costs.
The SBPS’s survey also measures how hard it was for small businesses to find alternative domestic suppliers: 18.9% reported difficulty at the end of Phase 5 and 13.0% at the end of Phase 4.