Many of our businesses are in need of help navigating measures to assist their employees and continue business
operations. This issue of the newsletter is filled with information on programs available to you along
with links to webinars the Chamber will be presenting later this week. We hope our timely deployment of the data and resources you need will help our businesses in need get back to economic health as soon as possible.
Some businesses are still operating at near normal levels. We hope you will be at the forefront of helping our community move forward. We all know that businesses are the backbone of our community. Indeed, without businesses there can be no community as ghost towns throughout the West demonstrate. It is time for businesses that are able to lead the way forward. YOU have resources that can help your fellow business owners and the residents in this community get back on their feet…and soon. In other words, those of you that CAN….SHOULD! Think of ways we can come out of this crisis whole and share your ideas suggestions, and strategies with the Chamber. We are Conveners and can help marshal resources and partners to move these ideas forward. Let’s come together, work together, and achieve a stronger community together. Email me with your thoughts on how the business community can lead our entire community forward at email@example.com
Business Needs and Priorities Change Amid COVID 19 Crisis
In response to the rapidly changing economic environment that emerged in mid-March as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis, the Chamber determined that the best way to help our business community was to first find out what was happening to them and what they felt they might need to continue operations. The Chamber is grateful to the 140 individuals who took the time to share their thoughts with us. That was a 10% response rate.
60% of the respondents had 25 employees or less and the industries represented were fairly broad led by Consumer Services (including banking, insurance and real estate) with 17%, followed closely by Retail, 15.5%, Manufacturing, 12%, Hospitality and Health and Human Services at 10% each.
22% of those who completed the survey have indicated their business income has dropped 50% or more. Another 28% have experienced revenue losses of between 25% and 50%. This drop in business has been sudden and unprecedented.
55% anticipate their employees will need help financially and 58% anticipate their employees will need assistance with child care issues. A surprising number of businesses, 69%, indicated they already have a business emergency plan. Top concerns for respondents included the uncertainty of how long businesses might be impacted, lack of revenue, more closures and how to take care of their employees. A few (less than 10) cited concerns about getting sick themselves or having employees get sick. The economic consequences were much more prevalent among the open-ended responses.
Topic areas that business respondents would like to learn more were ranked Financial/Access to Capital (41%), Emergency Preparedness/Business Continuity (30%), HR Issues and Working with Employees (25%) and Marketing (15%). It is the Chamber intends to offer training on these issues or access to the training being done by others in these major areas along with links to a video library of presentations.
In addition to the survey, the Chamber has compiled a list of resources and links to more information that is constantly being updated which can be viewed on our website. A Take Out Toolkit has been developed as well to help connect local patrons with local food service options. We are also meeting virtually with other economic development partners and community leaders to help craft effective measures that can assist all businesses and their employees.
The major goal for the Chamber is to be a conduit and a resource for businesses and if you have additional suggestions of how we can serve your needs please don’t hesitate to email or call us (firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-263-2915)
*Survey results in this article from March 23, 2020. Additional member surveys will be taken in April for updated statistics.