Majority of KC Businesses Share Optimism, Opportunity amid COVID in New SurveyDavid Cawthon
Despite the changes and obstacles the coronavirus pandemic has created for Kansas City entrepreneurs, a majority in the KC area appear to be optimistic about the future of their businesses, according to a new survey.
In the survey — conducted by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and other local entrepreneur Resource Partner organizations — nearly 2 in 3 respondents said they were “very confident” their business will fully recover from the pandemic and related economic downturn, while about 1 in 3 said they were “somewhat confident.” A fraction said they were “not very confident” or were “not at all confident.”
And the survey suggests that entrepreneurs saw opportunity amid the challenges in 2020. A majority of those who responded to the survey said the pandemic positively affected the way they do business, including development of new e-commerce options and increases in online sales. Others said pivoting their business as a result of the pandemic has forced them to “think outside the box more” or has expedited where their business is headed in the future.
Despite this apparent optimism, the survey also highlighted challenges businesses face. In terms of revenue since March 2020, 20% said their revenues decreased by more than half, 37% reported that revenue dropped by half or less, and 33% said their revenues were the same or increased. A total of 31% said they laid off employees. Of their biggest concerns going forward, the largest response – just under a third – said they were concerned about losing sales.
Responses were mixed regarding business travel once a vaccine is readily available. Nearly 70% said the impact would be small with some amount of reduced travel or that they predicted no impact. About 1 in 5 said there would be a large impact on their business travel and expected their role to no longer require or allow as much travel in the long term.
And on the subject of vaccines, a fourth of those responding said they planned to require employees to be vaccinated before returning to the workplace.
A total of 236 businesses and nonprofits responded to the December 2020 survey, conducted by the Greater Kansas City Area Chamber of Commerce, Kansas City Area Development Council, the Black Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City, the Mid-America LGBT Chamber, Visit KC and KCSourceLink.