Florida SBDC Network, UWF Haas Center, Florida Chamber Foundation, CareerSource Florida launch follow-up COVID survey

Florida SBDC Network Headquarters (Pensacola, Fla.)  The Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network, the Florida Chamber FoundationCareerSource Florida, and the University of West Florida Haas Center have partnered to launch a follow-up survey to understand the continued needs of small businesses as the pandemic and subsequent economic impacts reach the one-year mark.

The Small Business COVID Impact Survey 2.0 seeks to better understand the continued challenges small businesses face due to the pandemic. As part of the second phase, the survey will also solicit feedback regarding how small businesses have utilized the services of gig workers and subcontractors as they implement strategies to sustain their business. 

“Small businesses are critical to Florida’s economy,” said Dr. Cheryl Kirby, interim CEO of the Florida SBDC Network. “Conditions have improved but small businesses still face challenges. This survey represents an important opportunity for our organizations to build on our previous research and ensure the voices of small businesses do not fade.”

The survey serves as follow up to a study released in October 2020 to better understand the needs and challenges of businesses due to the pandemic. 

The Small Business COVID Impact Survey garnered more than 4,800 response and the results were telling. When asked about the impact on their business, 86% of respondents reported a loss in revenue, 45% were concerned about operating in the future and 40% reported closing their doors permanently due to the pandemic. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused devastating impacts for both businesses and Floridians,” said Michelle Dennard, president and CEO of CareerSource Florida. “Gaining a deeper understanding of long-term employment impacts due to the virus will help the CareerSource Florida network better connect job seekers and businesses to critical resources needed to support Governor Ron DeSantis’ vision for economic recovery.”

Data collected through the survey will be invaluable in supporting small business recovery efforts and better informing legislators and policymakers.

“Although there has been some relief for Florida’s small businesses, understanding the continued impacts to small businesses can help policymakers craft recovery measures to keep Florida’s small businesses providing jobs and creating new jobs in our state,” said Dr. Jerry Parrish, chief economist for the Florida Chamber Foundation.

“Supporting the state through market research and data analysis is our mission,” said Nicole Gislason, executive director of the University of West Florida Haas Center. “Our hope is that results gleaned through this follow up survey will help us better understand the needs of businesses.” 

Small business owners across the state are encouraged to participate in the survey and share their experiences, including revenue loss, employment impacts, and need for assistance.  

For more information and to complete the survey by the April 5 deadline, visit  http://floridasbdc.org/disaster/covid-impact-survey/.