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DENVER – The Colorado Chamber of Commerce today released the results of a survey on Colorado businesses conducted last week addressing key policy issues, vaccinations, remote work and outlook. The survey was conducted between May 12-14, 2021.
“With the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine and loosening restrictions across the state, a recovery is in sight for many Colorado businesses,” said Colorado Chamber President Chuck Berry. “But the legislature still must confront major policy issues to get our economy back on track. Jobs should be our top priority, and the first step in getting Coloradans back to work is to help the businesses that employ them. One of most pressing concerns facing Colorado employers is the state’s unemployment system and the significant premium increases needed to replenish the fund. The uncertainty this poses for businesses could impede our economic recovery and should be a focus of state leaders moving forward.”
The survey covers businesses of all sizes across the state and includes a wide variety of diverse industries. Survey highlights include:
- The vast majority (88%) of employers are concerned about future unemployment insurance premium increases due to the pandemic (54% are very concerned, 34% are somewhat concerned).
- 71% of companies have experienced unemployment insurance fraud during the pandemic.
- 37% say that their company is currently experiencing difficulty hiring employees due to unemployment benefits exceeding wages.
- 85% of survey respondents would like to see state leaders dedicate state or federal stimulus funding to help backfill the unemployment system.
- Survey participants indicated the following business impacts if unemployment insurance premiums increase:
- Increased prices for customers (40%)
- Cutting employee benefits (22.5%)
- Difficulty hiring or rehiring employees (20%)
- Slowed recovery from pandemic (20%)
- Roughly three-quarters (76%) of employers implemented some type of policy to encourage employees to get vaccinated. The most popular policies were:
- Providing educational materials and resources on how and where to get vaccinated (56%).
- Providing paid time off to get vaccinated and recover from side effects (54%).
- Offering on-site vaccinations at the workplace for employees (29%).
- No employers (0%) participating in the survey have required employees to get vaccinated.
- The vast majority (78%) of employers say that at least some of their employees are currently working remotely part-time or full-time.
- 37% said they anticipate bringing all or most employees back to the office full-time within the year.
- 23% have no immediate plans to bring their workforce back to the office full-time.
- About three-quarters (74%) of businesses indicated that they are or were negatively impacted by the pandemic.
- 13% expect a full recovery in the next 6 months.
- 23% expect a full recovery in the next year.
- 10% say they do not expect a full recovery in the near future.
- 100% of survey respondents believe the Colorado Legislature should spend existing state funding on transportation infrastructure. If state and federal funding for transportation infrastructure is limited:
- 63% support increased fees on electric vehicles.
- 39% support a road usage fee.
- 37% support increased fees on diesel fuel.
- 37% support fees on ride-sharing and deliveries.
- When asked to rate the job performance of the Colorado General Assembly:
- 33% believe the legislature is doing a poor job.
- 44% believe the legislature is doing a mediocre job.
- 23% believe the legislature is doing a good job.
- No participants in the survey (0%) said the legislature is doing an excellent job.
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.