NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – Arkansas businesses could have trouble keeping their doors open as the state experiences a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Mervin Jebaraj, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Arkansas, said a lot of businesses that geared up for a full reopening could now be struggling.

“Having to spend money to ramp up to prepare for a more normal summer, only to then be sitting on a lot of staff and inventory and not as many customers is really, really difficult for businesses,” Jebaraj said.

As some people choose to stay home to protect themselves from the delta variant, some businesses might not be able to make it with fewer customers.

“I think this is a concerning period, particularly for businesses that have had a very rough March of 2020,” Jebaraj said.