October 28, 2020 Supporting Manhattan-area entrepreneurs, businesses, events

Survey Results: Business Impact of COVID-19

MANHATTAN, KS (May 11, 2020) – The Greater Manhattan Economic Partnership invited major employers in the region to complete a survey as data is critically important to tell the collective story of the COVID-19 impact on our business community. These numbers help detail the economic reality for community leaders in the Manhattan area. This survey was conducted April 14-24.

Some 55 survey responses were received from major/primary employers in Riley and Pottawatomie Counties. These employers represent over 7,600 jobs in the Manhattan area. The average size of employer was 115 full-time and 42 part-time employees.

According to the responses, the top concerns among the employers was a decrease in consumer confidence along with the financial impact on operations and/or liquidity and capital. Additionally, employers expressed a concern that a recession may be imminent. Also on the employers’ minds was the status of Kansas State University and the long-term enrollment.

Employers estimated their business could survive on average 26 weeks before closing.

As for employees, the top concerns were mental health (stress/anxiety), physical health/safety, maintaining employment, childcare, financial stability and adapting to remote work. The employers rated workforce morale at a 5.3 on a scale of one to seven.

Other employment Information gathered included:

  • 100% of businesses responding are open with 56% operating on-site and 44% operating remote
  • 29% changed employee count (layoffs/furloughs), while 71% reported no change in employee count
  • 57% of respondents reported a decrease in revenue by an average of 29% as a result of the pandemic, 37% no change in revenue, and 6% reported an increase in revenue
  • 54% of respondents do not anticipate permanent workforce reductions in next 3 months
  • 88% of employees temporarily not reporting for work are being paid during work hiatus

Finally, the employers indicated the following as assistance that might be needed. This included:

  • Employee resources
  • Representation of business issues to government officials and coordination with local government to reduce barriers to a quick economic recovery
  • Distribution of other employer best practices

Of the businesses surveyed, the industries represented includes:

  • Manufacturing – 17%, Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services – 15%, Other – 12%  (Software as a Service, Wealth Management, Philanthropic Foundation, Quarrying and Civil Construction), Health Care and Social Assistance – 10%, Construction – 7%, Wholesale Trade – 7%, Educational Services – 5%, Retail Trade – 5%
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