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Results of the COVID-19 Economic Impact survey – a joint effort of the Down-town Long Beach Alliance (DLBA), City of Long Beach Economic Development Department, Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and Council of Business Associations – have revealed deep economic impacts among businesses related to COVID-19. The data gathered will inform the efforts of these organizations in assisting businesses through the recovery process.

The survey, which was conducted from April 3 to May 1, netted 509 responses from businesses across the city. To download the full survey, click here. To download the Executive Summary of the survey, click here.

“Our goal was to receive input from 500 businesses, which would paint a representative picture of the challenges occurring citywide,” noted DLBA Economic Development and Policy Manager Austin Metoyer. “Now that we’ve met that goal and interpreted the data, we have a valuable tool to determine how DLBA and its partners across the city can help businesses.”

Key findings:

• Of the respondents, 174, or 35%, identified as sole proprietors.
• Across business sectors, 56% of respondents reported that they permanently laid off or furloughed employees due to revenue losses in the last 30 days.
• Industries with the highest number of furloughed employees included: hospitality/food services, arts, entertainment and recreation, information, and transportation and warehousing.
• The most common financial impacts experienced by Long Beach businesses (with respondents able to select multiple answers) include: decline in sales (82%), inability to pay bills or fees (55%), no rent reduction (43%), and cancelation of group reservations or planned events (41%), among other issues.
• 355 businesses, or 61% of respondents, reported that they have closed their physical business location.

When asked what resources were necessary for businesses to reopen in order to recover from the impacts of the crisis, top responses included: emergency relief grants and business loans, and delayed, reduced or waived taxes and fees. Given the sizable response from individuals who identified as sole proprietors, there was an increased emphasis on ensuring that any new resources be inclusive of all business legal structures.

“The process to reopen the Long Beach economy has already begun. The question is, given what we’ve learned from this survey, how can we ensure that businesses have all the resources and tools at their disposal to reopen considering their financial challenges and physical limitations?” said DLBA President & CEO Kraig Kojian. “Working with our community and city partners, the DLBA is acting swiftly to provide or connect businesses to those resources and continues to serve as a clearing house of information for our stakeholders.”

John Keisler, director of the Long Beach Economic Development Department, thanked the community organizations in-volved in the survey’s distribution and analysis. “Our Mayor and City Council have made it clear that supporting small businesses is the foundation of our economic relief strategy,” Keisler said. “Small businesses continue to deliver essential goods, services, and job opportunities to the community, and this survey will help us to identify the creative solutions and support services that they need from us to survive and grow through the recovery.”