Businesses Weigh in on 2021 Legislative Session, Vaccinations and Economic Fallout of Pandemic
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DENVER – The Colorado Chamber of Commerce today released the results of its fifth COVID-19 business impact survey. The survey was conducted between December 7-11, 2020 and focused on the impact COVID-19 continues to have on the Colorado business community and their priorities for 2021, including vaccination plans and legislative action.
“The economic fallout from COVID-19 can be felt among businesses of all sizes throughout the state,” said Chuck Berry, president of the Colorado Chamber. “But the business community in Colorado is resilient and forward-thinking, and right now, they’re focused on leading our state to an economic recovery. As we look ahead to 2021, the biggest request we have for lawmakers is to allow employers and their employees to get to work without burdensome new tax increases or regulations. Businesses have already endured one of the worst economies in decades and we can’t afford additional barriers to recovery.”
The survey covers businesses of all sizes across the state and includes a wide variety of diverse industries. Survey highlights include:
- Roughly one-third (33%) of businesses say they’ve experienced a slight or moderate negative impact on company success due to COVID-19. 11% have experienced a strong negative impact.
- Small businesses have been particularly hard-hit. 65% of small businesses (1 to 49 employees) report being negatively impacted by the pandemic.
- More than half (53%) of businesses expect the economic fallout of the virus to continue beyond 2021.
- Approximately 44% of businesses had to make workforce adjustments due to the pandemic.
- 16% laid of employees but have since hired them back.
- 20% laid off employees and have not hired them back.
- 8% did not lay off employees, but reduced salaries.
- The top requests from the business community of the legislature in the 2021 legislative session are:
- Avoiding increases in taxes on businesses (87%).
- COVID-19 liability protection for companies that follow public health guidelines (80%).
- Allow some exceptions to public health orders for certain businesses that meet or exceed guidelines (56%).
- 75% of small businesses (1 to 49 employees) who responded to the survey say they don’t qualify for the COVID-19 small business assistance recently passed by the state legislature in the special session.
- In anticipation of a COVID-19 vaccine in Colorado, about one-third of businesses (31%) have started to develop a prospective plan or policy surrounding vaccination for employees or customers. In the open-ended responses to this question, many indicated that they will encourage vaccination but not require it.
- When asked what changes businesses expect to continue beyond the pandemic at their companies, the top answers were:
- More flexible work-from-home policies (79%).
- Hybrid virtual and in-person events or meetings (75%).
- Reduced business travel (65%).
Previous Colorado Chamber COVID-19 Business Impact Surveys can be found below:
The Colorado Chamber of Commerce champions free enterprise, a healthy business environment and economic prosperity for all Coloradans. It is the only business association that works to improve the business climate for all sizes of business from a statewide, multi-industry perspective. What the Colorado Chamber accomplishes is good for all businesses, and that’s good for the state’s economy. It was created in 1965 based on the merger with the Colorado Manufacturers’ Association.