Buffalo Niagara Partnership releases results of COVID-19 Business Impact Survey

Coronavirus

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–

On Tuesday, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership released the results of the WNY COVID-19 Business Impact Survey.

According to officials, nearly every business that responded reported a loss of revenue during the pandemic.

More than 1,800 businesses throughout the region, half of them deemed essential by the state, participated in the survey, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership says.

Professional services, retail, construction, and manufacturing were the top industries represented in the responses. 

Officials tell us 71% of respondents identified themselves as private sector, and the remainder identified themselves as non-profit or independent contractors.

They also say 81% of respondents employ 50 or fewer people.

Below you can find a further detailed breakdown of the survey by the numbers:

Financial impact:

  • 93% of respondents are experiencing a decline in revenue related to COVID-19
    • Most report a loss of 50% or less of expected revenue
  • 3 out of 5 businesses have postponed investment, many of them indefinitely
  • 75% of respondents have applied or are planning to apply for federal business assistance loans
  • 51% of businesses are reducing variable costs
  • 43% are reducing fixed costs
  • 2 out of 3 respondents report implementing a staffing change including reducing positions or adjusting wages/salaries
    • More than 1/3 of businesses have reduced staff, mainly through temporary layoff or furloughs
  • 60% of respondents have implemented a hiring freeze

Most pressing short-term concerns

  • 79% – Decline in revenue/sales
  • 63% – Cash flow
  • 42% – Wellbeing and safety of employees

Most pressing long-term concerns

  • 73% – Decline in revenue/sales
  • 56% – Cash flow
  • 40% – Cash reserves

How government can be most helpful:

  • 60% – Expand and/or streamline federal loan programs
  • 55% – Payroll tax cut
  • 41% – Fast-track the release of reimbursements for contract work
  • 28% – Repeal or suspension of certain reporting requirements

Readiness to work remotely:

  • 1 out 3 respondents report not being prepared to switch to remote operations
  • A quarter of responding businesses were prepared to deploy remote operation plans
  • 1 in 5 respondents still do not have a functioning remote plan in place

“For those of us monitoring the fallout from COVID-19, the results of the survey are not shocking, but they are a stark indicator of how much work lies ahead for the public and private sectors as our community pivots to recovery,” said Dottie Gallagher, President & CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership.

Troy Licastro is a digital content producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2018. See more of his work here.

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