PERC Staff Presents Results of BCS Business Impact of Covid-19 Survey

Jul 15, 2020
Summary: PERC’s Director, Dennis Jansen and Andrew Rettenmaier, executive associate director, gave a presentation to members of the Bryan-College Station Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, July 15, 2020 on the results of a survey on the business impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The survey, created by the Private Enterprise Research Center and distributed by the BCS Chamber, was conducted June 8 through 16 and received responses from nearly 500 individual businesses. The results from the survey related information on operations and supply chain, workforce, and financial issues affecting local businesses.

Dennis Jansen said “PERC has been at the forefront of reporting timely news about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the local economy, including area-wide statistics on the sudden and unprecedented rise in unemployment and business closures due to the virus and the governmental response to the virus.  This survey allows local businesses to tell more of their individual stories, to provide us with a better glimpse of what they have been going through and how they are responding to the ongoing economic slowdown.”

At the time of the survey, 97% of responding businesses were open or had reopened. Two thirds of businesses were operating at above 60% capacity, while 87% were able to ship or deliver at least 60% of products and services.

Businesses in the BCS area have experienced drastic changes in employment. Of all the responding businesses, 31% reported that their workforce changed due to Covid-19, with 62% of these firms reporting employment declines due to furloughs, layoffs, or terminations. Nearly all of the responding businesses had 50 or fewer employees, at 91%. 

Financially, 69% of businesses stated that weekly revenues had decreased and 10% reported a revenue increase as a result of Covid-19. A third of firms have contacted banks about a bridge loan or other financing. Over half of the firms applied for a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program, with 94% receiving a loan and 6% with a pending application.

Rettenmaier said, “The responses by industry groups indicate that businesses in wholesale and retail trade, those in entertainment and recreation, and those in accommodation and food services have been hit hardest. These firms reported the lowest industry average operating levels and the largest drops in revenue.“   

Looking ahead, when asked whether their businesses would be in better condition in 2021 than in 2019, responses were spread fairly evenly, with 37% expecting to be in better condition, 35% expecting to be in worse condition and 28% expecting to be in the same condition.

The survey also reported information on industry categories and employment by industry, federal stimulus program applications, and working from home. To read the full survey results, click here.