One in Three NYC Small Businesses Have Vaccination Requirements
(Bloomberg) -- The share of U.S. small businesses requiring employees to vaccinate has jumped in most big cities in recent weeks as a highly contagious Covid-19 variant spread across the nation.
In New York City, which put in place one of the strictest private-sector mandates of the country at the end of last month, a third of small firms are asking their workers to get the shots in the latest weekly U.S. Census Bureau Small Business Pulse Survey. That’s up from 28% the week of Christmas and less than a quarter three months ago.
The New York metro area has now surpassed San Francisco, which until recently had the highest percentage of businesses requiring proof of inoculation.
A few cities saw a decline compared with the end of September, including Miami, Philadelphia, San Diego and Dallas, which has the smallest rate at just 6.9%.
Nationally, the percentage of small businesses requiring Covid-19 vaccines has only risen slightly during December as cases of the omicron variant surged. It stood at 13.1% in the week ended Jan. 2.
That’s below the rate among large employers, many of which have imposed vaccine requirements -- even as President Joe Biden’s vaccine-mandate rule for companies was making its way through the court system.
A November poll by consulting firm Willis Towers Watson found that 57% of companies had or planned to have a jab mandate.
A separate survey found that 53% of U.S. workers want employers to record proof of vaccination. That poll, conducted by software firms Brivo Inc. and MRI Software, showed that more than half of respondents have safety and health concerns about returning to the workplace.
“Health and safety concerns remain a significant barrier to returning to the workplace,” said Brian Zrimsek, industry principal at MRI Software.
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