Almost 8 in 10 Pikes Peak area companies have lost business due to the COVID-10 pandemic, according to a survey released today by the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC.

“As COVID-19 is significantly disrupting our regional economy, we needed a way to ask businesses in the Pikes Peak region directly how they are being affected so that we can effectively triage resources and needs,” Cecilia Harry, the Chamber & EDC’s chief economic development officer, said in a news release.

The survey collected data March 18-23 from 176 businesses. 

Those businesses reported an estimated $10,158,000 in economic cost to their business between January 20 and March 23.

They also estimated $2,080,000 in monthly impact of layoffs of employees from January 20 to March 23.

“With a sample size of 176, these data points represent a small section of the Pikes Peak region business community,” the chamber noted, “and one can infer the magnitude of negative impact to the economy based on these figures.”

The following data points “are profound and have likely grown in severity since Gov. Jared Polis’ stay-at-home order” on March 27, according to the chamber:  issued on March 27, 2020:

  •  78 percent reported lost business due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
  • 57 percent reported that their business has internal or external plans to respond to the COVID-19 crisis; 18 percent were uncertain.
  • 30 percent reported an existing or anticipated domestic issue in their product or material supply chain.
  • 23 percent reported an existing or anticipated international issue in their product or material supply chain. 

The communitywide survey, which identifed business concerns and assessed needs related to the pandemic, was designed in partnership with the city of Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs Utilities, Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Pikes Peak Community Foundation, Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center, Pikes Peak Workforce Center and VisitCOS.

“Community leaders quickly assembled a taskforce to execute one effort of data gathering to inform how we can support businesses at the local level,” added Crystal LaTier, executive director of economic development for El Paso County’s Economic Development Department. “We want to identify local strategies to assist businesses as soon as possible in addition to the state and federal packages available.”  

The top three key factors hindering businesses were: 

  •       Customer base
  •       Conference/event cancelation
  •       Tourism decline

“While the key factors were consistent across major industry categories, how each of these disruptions affects individual industries and companies is nuanced. These factors will likely have consequences in other areas of business operation, such as financial and capital needs,” said Harry. “On a positive note, we are pleased that the survey found several industry sectors are seeing increases or stability in their business at this time.”

The full executive summary is here.