Updated on June 1:
The Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce on May 26 released the results of its regional survey to determine the impacts of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the government stay-at-home orders on local businesses.
Information gathered through this survey will be used to assist economic development leaders in their understanding of how the pandemic has affected all industry sectors. Businesses deemed to be “non-essential” by state and Sacramento County public health officials had to be closed for two months.
Sacramento County’s retail businesses and restaurants were allowed to reopen last week, but under many safety measures.
Angela Perry, president/CEO of the Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce, expressed the importance of the survey.
“The business survey is our attempt to try to determine what impacts the closures have had on the community, what the needs of the business community are now to reopen and what challenges they see coming in the future,” she said.
About 19% of the businesses that were surveyed are currently open, but operating at less than 50% of their capacities or service abilities. Twenty-three percent of the businesses are temporarily closed.
In regard to phased or incremental reopenings, the survey determined that 52% of businesses most value payroll (52%) and rent capital (47%) resources.
The survey also found that 32% of the surveyed businesses lost 76% to 100% of their weekly revenue as a result of the COVID-19 shutdowns. Another 34% of businesses surveyed lost somewhere from 26% to 75% of their business during the same period.
Additionally 62% of the surveyed businesses applied for some type of financial assistance.
Perry responded to the struggles that local businesses have endured.
“It’s scary, because these folks have poured everything they have into their businesses and they lived the last two and a half months without having any idea when it was going to loosen, when they would be able to come back and what that would even look like,” she said.
Perry mentioned that economic recovery time varies from business to business.
”I don’t think we’re ever going to have the same normal we had before COVID(-19),” she said. “Folks who were struggling to make ends meet before the closures are now going to have to recover financially from what they lost on top of that.”
Perry identified a bright spot in the survey.
“Nobody that we surveyed reported closing their business (due to COVID-19-related shutdowns),” she said.
The Elk Grove Chamber plans on using information from the survey to assist in the process of approaching COVID-19 recovery and the planning or their programs for the coming year.
Perry noted that it is important to reinforce the business owners’ approach to their reopenings, and to present the views of consumers.
“We started thinking about consumer confidence and are people really going to want to go back into stores, even when the quarantine is lifted,” she said. “It’s very hard for them to communicate to the consumers the measures that they’re taking to protect them. So, we’re trying to find ways to help them do that.”
Perry mentioned that the information from the survey will be provided to the city of Elk Grove to assist their economic development department in their plans.
Results of the survey will also be sent to Gov. Gavin Newsom and the office of Sacramento County Supervisor Don Nottoli.
To access the results of the survey, visit www.ElkGroveCA.com/businessimpact.
EG Chamber’s responsible reopening pledge
The Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce this week released its responsible reopening pledge, which is available in the form of an 18-inch by 24-inch poster.
This pledge is designed with the purpose of creating consumer confidence that businesses are taking every step possible to keep them safe.
It includes requirements for business employees regarding their health and hygiene, and ways they are mitigating exposure in the workplace.
The pledge also refers to responsible guidelines, self-service options and remote working.
Perry expressed the Chamber’s desire for how the pledge will influence local businesses.
“Our hope is that the pledge will encourage business owners to continue these measures, and we hope the businesses will use the pledge as a guideline for continued health practices,” she said.
The pledge also includes a portion for business employees to pledge to wear face coverings, practice social distancing, take their temperatures before their shifts and to stay home if they feel sick or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
Perry expressed the Chamber’s desire to have these posters become a community-wide effort for businesses.
“We would love to make this a community effort and would love to see one of these posters in every business in Elk Grove,” she said.
The pledge posters can be preordered from the Chamber. They are free to Chamber members and $5 for non-Chamber members, and will be available on June 1.