The Business and Industry Association released results of a member survey conducted between April 18 through April 24. The response rate was 25%, roughly one-third of which came from manufacturers.
Key results from the survey show that 90% of those responding are considered “essential business” and have remained operating. Eighty-one percent (81%) of respondents experienced a decline in revenue during the state of emergency. Despite declining revenues, 79% of respondents indicated they had not reduced staff.
Forty-three percent (43%) of respondents reported that some of their staff had either chosen not to work, or were unable to work, due to COVID-19 related reasons. Childcare issues, including dealing with school-aged children at home due to school closures, accounted for many of the absences. Seventy-six (76%)of those employers experiencing absenteeism reported that some employees chose not to work because of fears of contracting coronavirus. Twenty-four (24%) noted that some employees were staying home because they are making more in state and federal unemployment benefits than they would from their normal compensation. Fourteen percent (14%) of respondents provided additional compensation to employees who continued to work.
Other results from the BIA member survey:
Businesses remaining open have instituted a number of COVID-19 related precautionary measures including social distancing in the workplace; working from home whenever possible; increased cleaning of work and common areas; no gatherings of 10 or more people in the workplace; limiting customer/public access to the workplace; and more.
- 76% of respondents who were planning to hire have put those plans on hold.
- 13% of employers said they have had to reduce certain benefits, and another 17% indicated that reducing benefits was under consideration.
- 54% of respondents said they had applied for SBA’s Payroll Protection Program and
- 12% said they had applied for Economic Disaster Loan Assistance.
“This survey provides a snapshot of essential businesses in New Hampshire and illustrates the challenges they face to remain open in the face of a pandemic that has our economy stumbling,” said Jim Roche, BIA president. “As we begin to explore ways to ‘reopen’ our economy, it’s critical for state policymakers to ensure nothing is done to further economically harm businesses or the individuals they employ,” Roche concluded.