More than 2 out of 5 restaurants (45%) were unable to pay their August rents, a five-point jump from the prior month and another indication the industry is backsliding as the delta strain of coronavirus continues to spread, according to a new survey.

The canvass of 5,349 small businesses by the referral network Alignable also found that the restaurant business is more worried than any other sector about the effects of the surge in COVID-19 infections. Nearly 9 out of 10 restaurants (88%) participating in the survey said they fear the more contagious coronavirus strain will slow economic recovery.

That compares with a 76% proportion of worriers across all types of small businesses.

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