December 11, 2020

Capital Region Chamber COVID-19 Survey Reveals Access to Capital and Federal Aid are Greatest Concerns for Area Businesses

The Capital Region Chamber has released the findings from its Phase III COVID-19 Business Impact Survey amidst the recent increase in cases across the state and country. The Chamber’s last survey in April measured how businesses were responding to the economic shut-down and their plans moving forward. Now, nine months into the pandemic, the goal of the Phase III survey was to determine the status of their workforce, revenues and the most pressing needs of their businesses.

A total of 204 responses were received, with 36% coming from businesses with 1-10 employees.

In the Phase II survey, 69% of respondents indicated they didn’t expect to reduce staffing levels. Now, when asked about staffing, 62% say they have had no changes to staffing; 16% indicate they have laid off staff with no intention of bringing them back.

More than half of respondents (56%) state that their employees are working a combination of remotely and on site, while 31% state that employees are working entirely on site.

When asked about revenue compared to this time last year, 20% stated that year-over-year revenue is down by more than 50%, while 16% indicated that revenue is down by less than 10% and 14% responded that sales are up between 10 and 20%.

Of those that responded, 40% indicated that their business needs financial assistance due to the negative impact of the pandemic. 25% stated that existing loan programs are not enough to sustain their businesses.

When asked if their business is at risk of closing due to the pandemic, 66% said no, 22% are unsure. 11% stated that their business is at risk of closing; of those, 8% said closure could occur within 4 to 6 months and 15% in more than a year.

“While is it good to see that the majority of respondents haven’t reduced their workforce and their business are not at-risk of closing, the survey clearly reveals that many businesses are struggling and desperately need Congress to pass another round of COVID aid before years-end to help them withstand the months ahead,” said Capital Region Chamber President and CEO Mark Eagan.

The survey was distributed via e-mail communications and social media channels. The survey was open to all businesses from November 17 through December 4.