Capital Region Chamber: 40% of businesses that responded to COVID-19 survey need financial help

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FILE – In this April 23, 2020, file photo, President Donald Trump’s name is seen on a stimulus check issued by the IRS to help combat the adverse economic effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, in San Antonio. All that aid is now gone. Yet prospects for more federal stimulus this year appear all but dead, clouding the future for the unemployed, for small businesses and for the economy as a whole.(AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- The COVID-19 pandemic has made a big impact on the local business economy. The most negatively impacted are businesses in the hospitality, restaurant, and performing arts industries.

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) allowed some businesses to receive financial help, but the program is no longer available. Capital Region Chamber President and CEO, Mark Eagan, said businesses need help from the Federal government especially those most vulnerable.

Of the 204 responses the Chamber received from a recent survey, 40% said they need some form of financial assistance from the government to waylay the economic impact of COVID-19.

There were positive findings in the survey. Nearly 70% of businesses said they did not expect to reduce their number of employees and 62% said they have not made changes to staffing levels. When asked if their business was at risk of closing due to the pandemic, 66% of businesses said no.

There is also good news when it comes to revenue, 14% of respondents said their revenue was up between 10-20% in a year-over-year comparison to 2019.

It wasn’t all good news, 20% of businesses said their year-over-year revenue was down more than 50%. Eagan said this shows businesses negatively financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic have really been feeling the effects.

“While is it good to see that the majority of respondents haven’t reduced their workforce and their business are not at-risk of closing, the survey clearly reveals that many businesses are struggling and desperately need Congress to pass another round of COVID aid before years-end to help them withstand the months ahead,” he said.

Eagan said although the PPP provided relief for many Capital Region businesses, the Federal government should provide more targeted relief aimed at smaller retailers, hospitality, restaurant and the performing arts.

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