In its third regional survey on COVID-19 impacts on businesses, the Central Coast Coalition of Chambers found nearly 80 percent of local businesses have reopened in August and 40 percent of parents say they are still figuring out childcare for the fall.
According to a spokesperson for the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce, almost 1,800 businesses between San Miguel and Solvang have participated in the coalition's survey since May, allowing the coalition to track changes each month.
Survey results showed 79 percent of businesses are open or partially open in August compared to 88 percent in June and July and 68 percent in May.
Thirty-three percent of business owners said overall conditions were excellent or good in August, a steep spike from 19 percent in May. Meanwhile, 27 percent of respondents said conditions were poor/catastrophic in August compared to 46 percent in May, the spokesperson said.
Sixty-three percent of respondents said they feel unsure and think the economy will take 6-12 months to bounce back, according to a news release sent to KSBY.
When respondents were asked about their largest COVID-19-related concern, “Not knowing how long the situation will last” continued to be at the top, increasing ten points since May (27.97%). Respondents' second and third concerns were seeing a negative impact on their job/income/business (17.80%) and the health of the general public (13.56%), according to the spokesperson.
As the 20-21 academic year begins for many Central Coast schools, 52 percent of respondents with children aged 0-12 say they will be relying on a remote or flexible work schedule, 40 percent say they are using informal assistance and 36 percent say they are reducing their work hours, according to the news release.
“Now more than ever, we see clearly the interdependence of business, government, community and public health and must continue to pull together to invest in our small businesses, our community and our shared future," said Jim Dantona, chair of the Central Coast Coalition of Chambers.
Questions about the survey can be directed to Jacqui Clark-Charlesworth at firstname.lastname@example.org or (760) 473-3531.