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DENVER – The Colorado Chamber of Commerce today released the results of a survey on its membership conducted between March 17-20, 2020 about the impact coronavirus (COVID-19) is having on the business community. The survey includes responses from 80 businesses of all sizes across the state, representing more than 20 diverse industries.
“The Colorado business community is facing unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19,” said Colorado Chamber President Chuck Berry. “The full economic consequences of this crisis are yet to be known, but this survey demonstrates that businesses in Colorado are doing everything they can to adapt to the circumstances and support their employees, their customers, and their communities.”
The results reveal the high level of concern among businesses across the state and the measures they are taking to respond. Survey highlights include*:
- More than three-quarters of all businesses surveyed (78%) say they are “very concerned” about the impact COVID-19 will have on their business, operations, and employees in the coming months.
- The top three concerns of businesses as a whole are long-term impacts on the global economy (81%), the possibility of temporarily shutting down or limiting operations (64%), and disruptions in the supply chain (55%).
- Nearly one quarter (23%) of the small businesses (less than 50 employees) surveyed are worried about going out of business and 58% are concerned about meeting payroll.
- In open-ended responses, many businesses expressed concerns about government-mandated closures for their industries, and the length of such closures.
- At the time of the survey, most companies had canceled company meetings, events or conferences (84%), were taking additional hygiene precautions in the office (82%), and suspended all business travel (63%).
- When applicable, businesses are taking measures to support their customers, such as offering discounts (6.5%), waiving fees (9%), and expanding cancellation/refund policies (12%). (70% said it’s not applicable to their business)
- Remote working is widespread. As of last week, 69% of businesses surveyed offered remote working to some or all employees due to COVID-19 and 50% of respondents required remote working for some or all employees. Several companies indicated in open-ended responses that they already offered remote working prior to the virus outbreak.
*Note: Many of the survey responses were collected before the full impact of several state and local mandates were felt by the business community. The Colorado Chamber will be conducting follow-up surveys in the weeks to come to measure this impact.
Responses to open-ended questions also showed the commitment Colorado businesses have to their communities and workers as they navigate this crisis.
“We’re actively exploring ways for our associates to support our nonprofit partners and community organizations that serve vulnerable populations,” said one of the businesses surveyed.
“[We are] paying our hourly workers their average weekly wage, even though there is no work for them to do,” another business said.
“We remain customer focused with emphasis on safety,” a respondent said. “Looking for ways to assist those in need.”
“We are evaluating almost every process, procedure, and standard in an effort to ensure we are supporting our communities as well as we possibly can,” said one company when responding to a question about helping its customers.
“We are all in this together and need to work collaboratively to get through it with grace and understanding,” a survey participant said.