NewsLocal News


Survey: Business owners concerned about COVID long-term impact

Posted at 8:08 PM, Dec 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-01 20:08:15-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The economic uncertainty created by COVID-19 is the number one concern for businesses, small and large in the Buffalo-Niagara region. This according to a survey of its members by the Buffalo Niagara Partnership.

“When are businesses going to be at full speed? When are we going to be able to freely lift capacity on restrictions and all of those things?” Those are some of the questions Dottie Gallagher, CEO of Buffalo Niagara Partnership says business owners are concerned about.

The number one concern from business owners is the long-term economic impact from COVID-19, followed by market conditions and regulations.

Gallagher says that’s a big shift from the previous end-of-year surveys when workforce was top of mind.

“To see that drop to the bottom of the list have the long-term economic impact of COVID-19 jump to the top, we’ve never seen that kind of a shift,” she said. “They’re concerned about unemployment, we still don’t have a handle on the permanent job loss,” she said.

The Department of Labor says the Buffalo-Niagara region lost some 40,000 jobs from October 2019 to October of this year.

Katie Krawczyk is one of the 100 members who responded to the partnership’s survey. She is the CEO and Partner of 19 Ideas, a local marketing and communications firm.

“We were also impacted by the financial and economic downturn that happened,” she said.

Krawczyk is one of the 44% who responded to the survey, saying they’ve seen a decrease in sales and revenue as a direct result of COVID-19. Krawczyk believes the long-term economic effects will work both ways and she does see the positives.

“I think we’ve been able to adjust how we work,” she said. “We’re more efficient with our team and our clients.”

Krawczyk says her business is thinking long-term about more strategic planning.

The survey also found nearly 50% of people plan to have employees working remotely or part of the week moving into 2021.

66% of all surveyed said they think New York is becoming less business friendly.

53% said they would add new employees, but only 18% said they would expand their current location.