The Greenville Chamber, in partnership with the City of Greenville and Greenville Area Development Corporation, released results from a recent survey of Greenville-area businesses on the impact of the covid-19 pandemic.
As of April 16th, key findings from the survey of more than 330 local businesses include the following:
1. More than 1 in 3 Greenville businesses are worried about impacts and staying in business.
39% of businesses reported that they are either worried about impacts and staying in business or are very worried and don’t know if they will stay in business as a result of the current situation. For sole proprietors and minority-owned businesses, the number increases to 66% and 68% respectively.
2. Reported gross business income was reduced by 43% in March.
A slightly higher reduction is expected to occur in April of 47%.
3. 41% of survey respondents have either laid off staff or reduced hours.
Of those laid off, 78% were indicated to be temporary.
4. While 2/3 of businesses have not seen cost increases, there is some concern among small business regarding their ability to take care of current rental or property obligations.
More than 1 in 3 small businesses (37%) either cannot or do not know if they can meet those obligations. For sole proprietors and minority-owned businesses, the number is much higher, around 50%.
5. Nearly 70% of businesses have applied or plan to apply for financial assistance.
Many businesses intend to apply for assistance such as Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) or other loans and grants.
6. The types of needed assistance most often cited by businesses were mainly financial.
Other assistance consistently requested by survey respondents included access to information and support structures, assistance navigating the complex employment landscape, and marketing and advertising support and opportunities. Many businesses cited a desire to work alongside government entities to cut red tape and explore innovative solutions to ease financial burdens.
“For most businesses surveyed, it boils down to ‘Four C’s’ of cash, customers, communication and confidence,” said Carlos Phillips, Greenville Chamber President/CEO. “These business leaders are looking for support - from their community, elected officials and government entities, and business organizations - to guide them through this complex landscape so that they can look to the future with confidence.”
The results will be used by area organizations to guide and direct recovery efforts. Additional surveys will be conducted in the coming weeks to reassess business impacts as conditions change.