A new form of a survey undertaken by the Census Bureau shows that construction firms, so far, have been less affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and economic shutdown than other industries.
What is being called the Small Business Pulse Survey indicates that 33 percent of construction firms nationally said they had been impacted by the virus.
That number is significantly smaller than the retail sector, of which 53 percent said they had endured some sort of impact; and the transportation and warehousing sectors, where 53 percent reported an impact.
Sectors most affected by the virus and shutdown include educational services, which reported a 74 percent impact; arts and entertainment with a 75 percent impact; and the food and accommodations industry, with a devastating 83.5 percent impact.
The Pulse Survey, which received responses from 22,449 small businesses, is a new Census Bureau service designed to specifically track COVID-19 related business trends.
According to a statement issued by the bureau, the results of the survey “will inform government response and recovery planning as well as help businesses make decisions.”
As planned, the Pulse Survey, in future studies, will keep track of “location closings, changes in employment, disruptions in the supply chain, the use of federal assistance programs, and expectations concerning future operations.”
Overall, just north of 51 percent of small business nationally said they had experienced a large negative impact due to the virus, with 38 percent reporting that the virus and shutdown was having only a moderate negative impact.
The smallest response grouping, at 7.6 percent, came from businesses saying the virus and shutdown had had little or no impact on their operations.
Conducted during the week of April 26 to May 2, the survey additionally showed that many construction companies have actually added to their headcount, although employee hours had often been deceased.
Just under 43 percent of responding construction companies said the virus and shutdown had caused supply chain disruptions; with 33 percent saying that they have had to close down a work site for at least one day.
The percentage of all small businesses in Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico impacted by the virus and shutdown ranged between 45 and 49 percent, roughly tracking the national trend.
The survey additionally showed that some 72 percent of responding construction firms said they had applied for Payroll Protection Program support, with 42.6 percent actually receiving a loan.
By Garry Boulard
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