Survey by Chamber Shows Extent to Which COVID and Related Shutdown Hurting Business

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Over the past two months, the Davis Chamber of Commerce has been in frequent communication with its members, trying to assess the impact of COVID-19 on local business.

In order to gain better understanding of that impact, over the past two weeks, the Chamber surveyed their membership and received detailed responses from 124 of them.

“The results provide a chilling look at the difficulties Davis businesses are facing,” they said in a press release on Monday.  “We have heard a great deal of feedback on how many local businesses are struggling to maintain operations in the face of the severe challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

They add, “We have also heard of the many efforts local community members are undertaking to support these businesses while adhering to local shelter-in-place requirements.”

The survey found:

  • Three-quarters (75%) of surveyed businesses report experiencing a reduction in income, with half (50%) of the businesses seeing this reduction as “severe.”
  • Nearly a fifth (18%) reported that they had furloughed or laid off most or all of their staff, with as much as another quarter (26%) having some lay-offs or a reduction in staff hours.
  • Two-thirds (66%) of businesses reported reduced operating hours, with one in seven (14%) reporting that they have shut down completely.
  • More than a third of the businesses (37%) have turned to online sales and / or delivery options to keep their businesses running.
  • Finally, seven out of ten (70%) businesses report applying for some form of federal, state, or local assistance, with roughly half of these having received funds and the other half still waiting.

They also asked their membership what actions the City of Davis, Yolo County, and the Chamber could take to provide meaningful assistance to them.

Frequent responses included a request to continue to provide outreach to the community on businesses open for business, as well as tracking and communicating to businesses the changing and emerging fiscal assistance programs.

“The most urgent request from businesses was to receive clear guidance on how to operate safely within current and emerging conditions,” the Chamber said.

To help address that need, the Chamber will partner with the City and County to host a virtual information session on safe operating practices for Davis businesses on Friday, May 15 starting at 11:00am. For those wanting to receive registration information for this session, please contact the Chamber Executive Director, Cory Koehler, at ckoehler@davischamber.com.

“In the challenging days ahead the Davis Chamber of Commerce will work tirelessly in partnership with our colleagues at the City of Davis, Yolo County, and the State of California to continue to provide support and assistance to our local businesses,” the Chamber said.

“Together we will strive to work through the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and return to a prosperous and healthy community.”


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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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15 thoughts on “Survey by Chamber Shows Extent to Which COVID and Related Shutdown Hurting Business”

  1. Keith Olsen

     one in seven (14%) reporting that they have shut down completely.

    That’s terrible and it’s only been about two months.

    That’s in addition the the empty store fronts that Davis had prior to the virus.

    At what point will the bleeding stop?

    25% shut down?  50% shut down?

  2. Don Shor

    At what point will the bleeding stop?

    25% shut down?  50% shut down?

    When people feel that it’s safe to shop again, and stores have guidance as to how to operate safely.

    The Chamber is in a unique position to help city businesses by adopting what Davis Downtown did: provide a portal through which residents can purchase gift certificates, and then solicit funds from businesses and residents and matching funds from the City to match those gift certificate purchases. The Davis Downtown program was hugely successful and ‘sold out’ in 24 hours, but is limited to those businesses in the actual downtown BID (assessment district). The Chamber could provide the logistics and some funding to help all the retailers that need it. I suggest they discuss this with city staff and get some input from Davis Downtown as to how to make it work efficiently. Clearly there’s a need, clearly there’s a willingness to help.

    1. Keith Olsen

      When people feel that it’s safe to shop again

      It doesn’t matter what people feel when many/(most?) of the businesses are closed due to dictate.

      1. Don Shor

        It doesn’t matter what people feel when many/(most?) of the businesses are closed due to dictate.

        The closure of the businesses is based on the recommendations of the health professionals. Reopening should be done when it is not likely to result in more infections and deaths. If the stores open prematurely and people get sick again, that will affect business very adversely. The public will not shop if they are concerned about their safety. Pushing hard for the stores to open could backfire very badly.
        So contrary to what you’re saying, it does matter what people feel. There are two components to this: making sure businesses have the best protocols in place when they reopen, and restoring public confidence in their safety. Knowing that there are metrics for assessing the safety of reopening will be a part of that. Getting clear and honest reports from public officials will be important as well.

      2. Alan Miller

        . . . or, one can visit Castle Rock, Colorado.  Since links can’t be posted, google “Castle Rock, Mothers Day, Restaurant” and watch the video, including someone saying, “It’ like things are normal again”.  Packed restaurant, no masks, no distancing, no OK to re-open.  It’s like all the selfish morons found their home.

  3. Ron Oertel

    I’m having trouble keeping-track of which businesses are open (and may even be “thriving”), and which businesses are closed. And, how that’s changing, over time. Nor do I know which businesses and employees are receiving assistance, how long that lasts, the impact, etc. An overall picture is difficult to find.

    I suspect that as with the Tesla example, conflicts between localities and the state, other states, the federal government, etc.,  “control” is going to go right out the window.  Regardless of best practices, etc.

    And definitely, without much consideration of what’s on this blog.

    I think that many people will just wear continue to masks, avoid crowds, etc.

    1. Don Shor

      I’m having trouble keeping-track of which businesses are open… and which businesses are closed.

      Wendy Weitzel’s Comings and Goings column in the Davis Enterprise keeps this updated. It’s also on Facebook.

    2. Ron Oertel

      ” . . . just wear continue to . . .”

      I hope that dyslexia is not a symptom of coronavirus.

      By the way, is that what “Yoda” had?

    3. Ron Oertel

      Some more non-Vanguard readers, apparently.  Nor do they listen to their own county officials, I guess.

      On Monday, officials in Shasta County condemned the event, saying it had reportedly attracted around 2,000 people, many of whom didn’t wear masks or practice social distancing.

      https://www.newsweek.com/thousands-flock-california-rodeo-delay-reopening-1503327

      Pretty touch to control, in a “free” society like America. “For better, or worse” as they say.

      Maybe they can be “shamed” into complying? 😉

      Apparently, the potential impacts of the virus apparently aren’t severe enough on their own, to convince everyone of the risk.

      1. Alan Miller

         

        the potential impacts of the virus apparently aren’t severe enough on their own, to convince everyone of the risk.

        Since the risk is to others, what I am convince of is that they are *ssholes.

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          Perceived risk. People early on believed that unelss they fit into the high risk category they’d be alright. The reality is that while most of the people who have died do fit into those risk categories – that doesn’t mean that you are safe and in some cases even if you don’t die, it profoundly impacts your life.

        2. Alan Miller

          I didn’t mean you don’t have a risk of death or damage, I mean if you don’t distance and mask, it’s others you are harming, regardless if you don’t give a d*mn about yourself.

      2. Don Shor

        Maybe they can be “shamed” into complying?

        No, they’ve just delayed the opening in their county. So they’ve done direct harm to the other businesses there.

  4. Bill Marshall

    The virus manifests itself in many ways… speling, gramer, etc… recent examples…

    People early on believed that unelss they fit …

    … what I am convince of…

    Pretty touch to control…

    But teachers r teachung well, shud be payed 5 tymes what they gut!

    Lest the students forget the importance, of self-editing, grammar and spelling… the medium is the message… print, or social media…

    Oh, the Bee and the Emptyprize are not much better… particularly recently…

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