The Marshall Area Chamber and Marshall Economic Development Authority recently published the Marshall Area Economic Impact Survey. This survey was developed to gather insight on the overall economic impact on the business community during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The survey results will also assist in future planning for the Chamber and EDA, with the data utilized for program development.
“We understand that every business has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” EDA Director Lauren Deutz said. “To give businesses the opportunity to share their stories will help determine how we can best assist.”
In total, 83 businesses participated in the survey representing several industries in the community including, but not limited to, agriculture, finance, healthcare, non-profit, restaurants, retail, lodging and construction.
Of the respondents, 72 percent of businesses have remained open in some capacity during the shutdown period. Despite many businesses remaining open, 43 percent of the respondents indicated that they have experienced a large negative impact on sales/revenue and 35 percent anticipate the negative impact to continue over the next six months.
“The Chamber team has been reaching out to area businesses to determine COVID-19 impacts. The conversations clearly support the data collected in the survey,” Chamber President Brad Gruhot said. “Businesses know that they have to open with precautions for the safety of their employees and their customers and businesses have made plans to support those safe operations”
Many businesses also indicated the need to make changes to their current staffing with 57 percent reducing or anticipating the need to reduce staff hours. In addition, 21 percent of businesses indicated that they already have or anticipate the need to terminate employees during the shutdown.
“We have been communicating with our Legislators and the Governor’s office regularly,” Mayor Bob Byrnes said. “The survey data confirms what we have been hearing from our business community and we want to support them, so they are able to serve their customers safely.”
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY | MARSHALL AREA ECONOMIC IMPACT SURVEY
The purpose of the Marshall Area Economic Impact Survey is to monitor how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the Marshall business community. A variety of businesses were invited to participate in the survey, representing businesses of all sizes and industries. The survey was designed to provide an overview of the economic impact and help determine future programming for both the Marshall Chamber and EDA.
The survey was completed using an online methodology starting on April 27, 2020. In total, 83 businesses completed the survey as of May 5, 2020. This document focuses on the main findings in the areas of business operations, financial impact/assistance, staffing, and employee/customer safety.
The Marshall Area Economic Impact Survey was emailed directly to Marshall Area Chamber members and posted on social media. In total, 83 businesses participated in the survey representing the following industries: healthcare, finance/insurance, retail, restaurants, agriculture, construction, personal care, lodging, automotive, recreation, religious organizations, real estate, manufacturing, transportation, arts, and advertising.
The first section of the survey evaluated how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the businesses day-to-day operations. Of the 83 participants, 21 percent indicated they have effectively shut down all or most of their operations with an additional 28 percent having significantly cut back operations.
When asked what key factors were affecting their operations, 75 percent of respondents were most affected by reduced customer base and 29 percent were concerned about product supply.
When asked about the financial status of their businesses, 42 percent of participants indicated that they have seen a large negative impact on their sales/revenue with 35 percent anticipating the negative impact to continue over the next six months.
With several federal, state, and local funds available, 72 percent of participants stated that they have applied for a financial assistance program. Of those who applied, 62 percent have received funding. The SBA Paycheck Protection Program was awarded to 47 businesses and 13 received the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan.
With reduced hours and business closings, 57 percent of the respondents indicated that they already have or anticipate reducing staff hours. In addition, 21 percent already have or are anticipating the need to eliminate employees.
The Marshall business community has been gravely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Financial support and safe business practices will be vital to business success as the Stay at Home order is lifted.