Of the 330 businesses polled in a Greenville-area survey released April 16, about 41% have laid off staff or cut hours, while 70% seek financial assistance such as the Paycheck Protection Program or Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
As March’s reported gross income sunk by 43% percent following the shuttering of dining rooms, tourist attractions and many manufacturers across the state, the survey reported that 39% of respondents said they are either “worried” about staying in business or are “very worried and don’t know if they will stay in business as a result of the current situation.”
Expected income reductions for April were even more dire at a 47% decrease, the report said.
Sole proprietors and minority business owners reported feeling even more pressure from the shutdown, with a respective 66% and 68% fearing the permanent closure of their stores, according to the report.
Fifty percent of sole proprietors and minority-owned businesses that responded do not know if they will be able to meet rental or property obligations as a result of the pandemic, while 37% of all surveyed businesses note similar concerns. Only one-third reported an increase in rent, utilities and other business costs.
Greenville businesses reported that financial assistance represented their greatest need as income flows dry up but they also requested greater access to information, human resource counseling on employment changes and marketing support.
“For most businesses surveyed, it boils down to ‘Four C’s’ of cash, customers, communication and confidence,” Carlos Phillips, CEO and president of the Greenville Chamber, said in a statement when the report was release. “These business leaders are looking for support — from their community, elected officials and government entities, and business organizations — to guide them through this complex landscape so that they can look to the future with confidence.”s