COVID-19 Business Pulse Survey
Over the past two weeks, the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic have reached every part of the economy. Social distancing measures have closed much of the service economy – restaurants, bars , gyms – leading to a drawdown in consumer spending. To get better insight into how the shutdown is affecting Charlotte Region businesses, the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance received responses from 168 businesses in the region that wanted to share how they are managing through COVID-19.
Unsurprisingly in a week where increasing restrictions took effect, 75 percent of respondents said their businesses were more affected than last week and only two percent said the virus was having no impact on their business.
It’s become clear, too, that the business impacts will be long-lasting. 35 percent of respondents expected business effects to last less than three months and 11 percent believe effects will persist through the next 12 months.
The length of the pandemic will be decisive for many companies. 33 percent of businesses report they cannot survive more than 30 days with no new sales.
Responding businesses are focused on protecting revenue and employee well-being. With that in mind, 73 percent of respondents reported they had moved to work from home arrangements for their employees, while about 49 percent have ended outside meetings. That means respondents are spending more time checking in with key customers and at least some are developing online products.
Cost-cutting measures are a given in this environment, and many respondents have already faced the choice to reduce expenditures through cutting staff or hours. Policymakers are focused on policies that help the businesses and people affected by the virus. When asked their most relevant governmental relief policy for their businesses, 43 percent of respondents said a payroll tax cut, 20 percent said expanded SBA loans, and 16 percent noted some type of direct individual relief payment.
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