SC Chamber Releases Final COVID-19 Business Survey Results

Staff Report From South Carolina CEO

Thursday, May 7th, 2020

SC Chamber of Commerce (SC Chamber) President and CEO Ted Pitts released the final COVID-19 Business Survey results at the accelerateSC task force meeting. Almost 4,500 businesses from nearly all sectors and representing all sizes responded to the survey, which was open from April 23rd to May 3rd. Nearly seven of ten of the responses came from small businesses. 

“The results of this survey clearly show that our businesses are hurting and need for us to take quick action to get them back on track,” said Pitts. “Governor McMaster lifting the Home-or-Work Order will go a long way toward helping them get back up to operational status, but we must continue to keep the focus on reopening the economy safely for our businesses and employees.”

High points from the survey include: 

About half of responses indicate that lack of demand is the biggest challenge for businesses; the next biggest challenge is the ability to cover pay roll (about 38%).

Over 40% of businesses have had to lay-off or furlough employees, nearly 3 in 5 businesses have not had to lay-off or furlough employees.

Almost 90% of businesses who responded they have had to lay-off/furlough employees plan to bring at least 50% of those employees back within three months.

40% of businesses have implemented or are considering implementing a pay cut for employees due to COVID-19

Almost two thirds of businesses are concerned about workplace safety liability (OSHA/Workers Compensation) and premises liability (exposure to customers). 

At least 37% of respondents have received some kind of federal COVID-19-related relief (Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loans, etc.). Almost 30% have been denied or are still waiting on an answer. 

About half of businesses are operating with partial continuation of sale and delivery of services/products using alternative approaches; close to 3 in 10 businesses are/were completely unable to sell services/products during the Stay-at-Home or Work Order and closure of non-essential business orders.

Half of businesses need for all of the Governor’s Orders, including the Stay-at-Home or Work Order (which has been lifted since the survey closed) to be lifted to restart and bring employees back full-time.

Close to 4 in 5 businesses anticipate placing a heightened focus for the next six to 12 months around employee handwashing, distancing, not allowing employees at work if sick or running a fever and additional cleaning and disinfecting of the workplace as they begin to restart or ramp up business.

Click here to view the results in entirety.