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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
“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.”