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Why Vaccine Passports are Bad News for Small Business

The rollout of the requirement of vaccine passports is bad news for small

businesses who have already faced the brunt of covid 19 restrictions and

lockdowns worldwide. This new requirement that people trying to buy products

or services from establishments like gyms, restaurants, bars, airlines, tourist

attractions and concerts are going to have to give proof of vaccination is a

troubling development for businesses who are already struggling. The challenge

that businesses are going to face include:

Loss of Sales: in most locations 60-80% of populations have been vaccinated, this

leaves 20-40% of the customer base of most businesses where people have

chosen for health, safety, trust, religious or other reasons, not to take the vaccine

medications. The government requirement of a vaccine passport to now access

products or services is going to restrict the number of people who will be able to

purchase from your business. If your customer base has just dropped by 20-40%

you can bet that your sales are going to drop as well.

Loss of Profitability: A study by the info credit group in 2020 found that when

sales drop by 25%, 81% of companies show net loss. The reality is that when

companies are only marginally profitable, and research from the NFIB has shown

that before the pandemic upwards of 50-60% of small business fell into this

category, losses to customer base are going to have a significant affect on the

bottom line. Small business owners cannot afford another week, month or year

of losses!

Loss of Staffing: The service industry is experiencing significant difficulty in

attracting and retaining workers in light of the sector’s inability to guarantee work

in an environment that is constantly facing lockdowns and restrictions. While a

percentage of business owners may feel that vaccine passports will protect their

staff from customers, customers are going to demand that staff prove their

vaccinations as well. We have already seen that businesses that have forced

vaccination of all their employees have faced serious losses of employee talent.

Forbes recently reported that as many as 33% of hospital workers including

nurses and physicians have refused to become vaccinated. We shouldn’t be

surprised that when forced to vaccinate against their wishes people will leave

their jobs.

Enforcement requirements: So, who does government think is going to enforce

vaccine passports? In some jurisdictions, police forces have already asked for

more money if they are going to be required to help with vaccine passport

enforcement. Are businesses now expected to burden an already hard-working

staff by adding another rigorous task to their customer interactions? At what

cost? Monitoring vaccine passports in a business is going to take time and time is

money. The cost of monitoring is going to add additional costs that small

businesses neither want nor can afford.

Outraged customers: Guess what is going to happen when some of your regular

customers can no longer use your products or services because you are denying

them entry? Not only are businesses going to face outraged customers, many are

going to risk losing these customers forever. Pro-vaccine passport government

officials don’t seem to understand that businesses spend considerable money,

effort and energy in attracting new customers. The lifetime value of customers is

often thousands of dollars. Customers who are upset are going to spend their

money elsewhere, and businesses that are forced to refuse their money

are going to have to find ways of dealing with angry customers.

Increased Stress: Drama in the workforce places unneeded stress on employees

and owners of small businesses. The division that is being created by the

implementation of vaccination passports is not only affecting customers but the

mental health of anyone who is trying to take care of customers. With burnout

levels of business leaders and their employees reaching all time high levels, the

addition of vaccine passports is just one more stressor that people don’t need

right now.

Whether you believe in the value of these vaccines or not, the requirements of

vaccine passports do not make sense on many levels. Where do these vaccine

passports stop? Will we see

  • People demanding to see the Hepatitis A, B, and C vaccines for all restaurant staff?

  • Customers asking to see food safe or bar tending certification for all employees in an establishment?

  • Will employers be able to now access their full medical history of all their staff?

  • Will people be prevented from applying for jobs based on their health or medications?

  • How long will people be restricted from travel based on their refusal to medicate in certain ways?

The slippery slope of vaccine passports will have serious long-term effects on

businesses and their owners. Unfortunately, government officials who have long

term job security and high salaries are not going to be affected by their decisions

to enforce vaccine passports to the extent of small business owners and their

employees. When vaccine passports become the norm, consumers like you and

me are going to see small business closures continue to become commonplace

instead of the exception, which is bad news for all of us!

Dave Fuller, MBA, is an Award-Winning Business Coach who is the author of the

book “Profit Yourself Healthy”, Dave lives in lives in Prince George, B.C. Disagree with this article? Email


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