The Pierce County Economic Development Department recently conducted a survey of Pierce County businesses to better understand the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on local businesses and which types of support and services businesses need for recovery.
“The county is working hard to help businesses stabilize and recover from this pandemic, which has wreaked havoc across almost every industry,” said Pierce County Economic Development Director Betty Capestany. “Survey feedback will guide decisions regarding the most effective ways to facilitate business recovery in Pierce County.”
Over 1,400 business leaders representing businesses across all sectors located throughout Pierce County completed the survey. Of businesses surveyed, the majority are small businesses, 75% have 10 or fewer employees. Additionally, 55% have been in business for 11 or more years; 19% for 6-10 years; and 25% five years or less. Results showed that 51% of responding businesses are women-owned businesses and 28% are minority-owned businesses.
Of the 81% of businesses surveyed that are currently open, 29% are essential service businesses and 52% are operating under Phase 2 of the Governor’s Safe Start recovery plan. Another 9% are still closed, awaiting Phase 3 or 4 to reopen.
The survey results show that the top areas of impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic were loss of revenue, business forced to shut down operations, employee layoffs, change of product/service or delivery methods, and supply chain disruptions.
Businesses were asked which programs or services they have utilized. The top program utilized was Pierce County’s free personal protective equipment (PPE) program, followed by Small Business Administration loan programs.
When asked what programs or services would help their business recover, over half responded that funding programs were important, followed by supplies/PPE, and a shop local program focused on consumer confidence.
Survey results are posted to the Pierce County website at https://piercecountywa.gov/CovidBusinessSurvey. The survey closed on July 6, 2020.