• Local Businesses Continue Despite Growing Impacts from COVID-19

    September 2, 2020
    Local Businesses Continue Despite Growing Impacts from COVID-19
    The Santa Maria Valley Chamber’s Business Impact Survey for August showed that the local business community continues to face challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    “What we saw from this month’s results was somewhat to be expected,” explained Chamber President/CEO Glenn Morris. “Our local businesses continued to experience a decrease in revenue this past month, with many saying their top needs are cash flow and penalty-free extensions on payments like rent and utilities.”
    The Chamber’s August survey show that 68% of business respondents reported a decrease in revenue of 25% or more, up the 53% of businesses who said they saw this decrease in revenue in July.  The percentage of businesses seeing a more drastic decrease in revenue of 75% or more remained steady at 22%.

    With these type of hits to their revenue streams, it was no surprise that cash flow remained the top need for businesses, with 39% saying this was their most pressing current need (up 3% from July). Another major need for businesses is penalty-free extensions on payments including rent, utilities and inventory.
    “Though we see our business community continue to face challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is reassuring to see the degree of optimism they continue to demonstrate,” Morris said. 
    50% responded that their businesses are doing okay and that they expect improved results in the next 6 months. Though they are optimistic, businesses remain cautious, with 70% saying they are unsure about the overall economic future of our region.
    “While there is a lot of uncertainty around what the future holds for our community, we are committed to helping our local businesses through this challenging time, so that we come out more resilient as a community and build a stronger future for the Santa Maria Valley,” Morris said. 
    Morris said that the more input the Chamber can get from local businesses, the better the organization can allocate their resources to best fit the needs of the community. 
    “Our business impact survey is really important because it helps us determine where to spend our time and resources,” Morris explained. “We know that over time, the needs of our businesses will continue to change. Being able to track those changes through our Business Impact Survey assures our organization remains at the forefront of meeting the needs of local businesses.”
    The Chamber sends out their Business Impact Survey once a month to the local business community. You can fill out the September survey HERE (available in Spanish HERE). To be added to the mailing list to receive the September survey, email molly@santamaria.com
    If your business is in need of assistance, please fill out our Business Assistance Form and someone from the Chamber will connect with you.