As the COVID-19 crisis was in its early stages, AED recognized the importance of tracking the effects of the pandemic on Arlington’s business community. To do this, AED has designed a series of business surveys which will capture a snapshot of what Arlington business are facing at a point in time.
Concluding on April 30, AED’s second business survey was taken and completed by 345 individuals in both English and Spanish.
Overall, the most commonly cited concerns of respondents were financial in nature. Over half of respondents were troubled by their ability to pay employee wages and their ability to afford lease and/or debt payments.
The survey showed 77% of businesses cite COVID-19 as being “extremely disruptive” or “very disruptive” to their business operations, up five percent from our March survey.
Approximately one quarter of respondents cited a high risk of going out of business; approximately the same number reported no risk of going out of business.
Survey results indicated 40% of applicable business-owners cited having to lay off employees, while 60% have not. The average number of laid-off employees were 10 full-time and six part-time.
A hiring freeze has been instituted by 88% of applicable business owners.
Prior to COVID-19, approximately three-quarters of respondents had planned major business investments, including investments in hiring or workforce development, product, service or technology investments, and/or investments in office space or lease extensions. Approximately 80% of these business owners have cancelled or delayed these investments.
Further analysis of April's survey results may be found here.
Open for two weeks and concluding on March 30, AED’s first business survey was taken and completed by 566 individuals. These responses were collected prior to the April 1 Stay at Home Executive Order from Virginia’s Governor.
Broadly, businesses report declining sales, laying off workers, supply chain disruptions and delaying or canceling upcoming projects or planned investments.
The survey showed 72% of businesses cite COVID-19 as being “extremely disruptive” or “very disruptive” to their business operations.
Businesses with less than 50 employees were especially hard hit. 92% reported their business operations as being extremely or very disrupted by COVID-19.
Survey results indicated 67% of businesses have experienced a year-over-year decline in sales attributable to COVID-19; 75% of those respondents have a decline in sales equal to 50% or more.
A hiring freeze has been instituted by 43% of businesses.
The survey showed 18% of businesses have had to lay off employees and 19% of respondents have not yet laid off employees but will consider it if their situation worsens.
The most pressing need respondents identified was financial assistance -- including grant assistance -- SBA economic injury assistance, tax payment assistance and landlord assistance.
Based on feedback from the March and April survey results, AED has compiled resources for Arlington businesses.
Based on the high number of survey respondents reporting financial need, AED has designed the Arlington Small Business Emergency GRANT (Giving Resiliency Assets Near Term) Program. To receive future communications as details about the GRANT program are finalized, please add yourself to the mailing list.
AED has compiled a variety of information on topics relevant to Arlington businesses, such as information and counseling related to the CARES Act, small business support and webinars on frequently requested topics. The content in our COVID-19 Business Support section is reviewed and updated frequently to keep you abreast of the latest resources.