The Transylvania Times -

Business Support Task Force Releases Survey Results - Brevard NC


Last updated 3/25/2020 at 5:03pm

During Monday’s Board of Commissioners meeting, Josh Hallingse, the Transylvania Economic Alliance’s executive director, gave a summary of the efforts by the Business Support Task Force, which was formed to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and the impact it’s having, and will have, on the local economy.

The Task Force is the brainchild the Brevard/ Transylvania Chamber of Commerce, Heart of Brevard, Transylvania County Tourism, Blue Ridge Community College-Small Business Center and the Alliance.

“We are working non-stop to review and disseminate information based on input from the business community, our own regional/national networks, and what is being generated from local, state and federal government,” Hallingse said. The following is a highlight of last week’s activities:

•Launched a COVID-19 Business Resource Guide. The organizations compiled the best available information regarding this crisis. The guide can be found on the Chamber’s and Alliance’s websites and is updated daily.

•The Chamber converted its Transylvania True webpage, which is a “support all things local” initiative, to contain information on adjusted business schedules, special offerings, how to help local businesses, community resources and more. This information is updated daily.

•Task force members are sending regular emails to their audiences, with shared information to highlight key updates.

Last Thursday, a business survey was created and distributed in which business owners were asked to let the task force know how this is impacting their operations and what steps they are taking.

While most businesses are feeling the impact, the severity varies greatly based on the sector, so far. Additionally, as with everything relating to this crisis, the impact and perspectives are changing daily.

Hallingse highlighted some of the survey findings:

There were 114 survey responses through Monday, March 23.

Of those who responded, 13 percent were retail, 13 percent were food and beverage, 9 percent were professional services, 8 percent were accomm-odations, 7 percent were manufacturing, 6 percent were arts/entertainment, 6 percent were attractions, recreation and tourism, 6 percent were health care, 5 percent were real estate and 4 percent were construction.

The size of the business that responded included 60 percent, with one to five employees; 11 percent, with six to 10 employees; 10 percent, with 11 to 20 employees; 12 percent, with 21 to 50 employees; 2 percent with 51 to 100 employees; and 5 percent, with 100 plus employees

Survey question: How has business responded to COVID-19?

•25 percent have not had to adjust hours or services at this time. •17 percent are offering limited services (takeout versus dine-in). •16 percent are offering employees opportunities for remote work. •15 percent are temporarily closed. •11 percent have continued operations but adjusted hours. •6 percent have implemented employee furlough, reduced hours. •4 percent are offering special offers (gift cards, discounts).

What resources would be beneficial (top three answers)?

•Assistance for impacted employees. •Marketing and business development alter-natives. •Business and financial planning services.

Rank the challenges you are experiencing or foresee experiencing?

1.Stress management – 77 percent 2.Productivity issues – 68 percent 3.Fringe benefit management – 67 percent 4.Basic needs for employees – 67 percent 5.Information technology – 66 percent 6.Childcare – 65 percent

What steps is your business taking to implement social distancing?

•Increase use of sanitation and cleaning during business hours.

•Limiting foot traffic in offices and retail stores.

•Encouraging use of technology.

•Implementing remote work options.

•Reducing frequency of staff meetings.

•Implement modified work schedule.

How is your company changing your approach to marketing and business development?

•No change (currently).

•Social media campaigns.

•Existing customer base.


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