April 6, 2020

Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC, community leaders assess business challenges and needs related to COVID-19

The Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC today announced the results of a community-wide survey designed to identify businesses’ concerns and assess needs related to the impacts of COVID-19.

“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,” said Cecilia Harry, CEcD, chief economic development officer for the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC.

The Chamber & EDC is proud to partner 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 in crafting the survey.

“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 survey collected data between March 18 and March 23, 2020. The following data points, collected from 176 Pikes Peak region businesses, are profound and have likely grown in severity since Gov. Jared Polis’ stay-at-home order issued on March 27, 2020:

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

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

  • Respondents reported an estimated $10,158,000 in economic cost to their business between January 20 and March 23, 2020.
  • Respondents estimated $2,080,000 in monthly impact of layoffs of employees from January 20 to March 23, 2020.

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 area 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.”

Learn more:

  • Click here for the full executive summary.
  • For more information about this survey or to connect with the Chamber & EDC about recovery efforts for the Pikes Peak business community, please contact Cecilia Harry, CEcD.
  • Visit the Chamber & EDC’s COVID-19 resource page