A survey of more than 400 employers representing a range of industries, sizes and locations across Delaware shows the mounting toll the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the state’s economy.
In the survey conducted by the Delaware Prosperity Partnership March 31 to April 3, 83 percent of businesses have seen a decline in revenue and thirty-four percent of respondents said they have had staffing decreases due to the pandemic, terminating approximately 13 percent of their collective workforce. This is up from 3 percent of businesses reporting layoffs in an earlier survey conducted March 20 – 24th.
Thirty-seven percent of respondents said they had closed, up from 22 percent in the earlier survey. Closures were concentrated in arts, entertainment and recreation (78 percent); education (77 percent and primarily childcare providers); retail trade (68 percent) and accommodation and food services (48 percent). Respondents whose businesses were still open said they were operating on average at about 61 percent capacity. Other key survey findings include:
- 50 percent of all job losses among survey respondents were in the accommodation and food services and retail trade industries.
- Operating capacity was higher in finance and insurance, information, manufacturing, construction and professional, scientific and technical services.
- Employers of less than five employees were operating at the lowest capacity, an average of 54 percent capacity, and employers with more than 100 employees were operating at the highest capacity, an average of 78 percent capacity.
- 83 percent of respondents have experienced a decrease in revenue, up from 72 percent of respondents during the first round of the survey. Losses have been steepest in sectors most directly affected by business closures, with all industries seeing notable revenue decreases in the 20 percent to 60 percent range.
On average, second-round respondents indicated they could survive the current business slowdown/closure for about 12 weeks. However, the median response among businesses was eight weeks, with about one-quarter of respondents indicating they could only survive for four weeks or less. A total of 22 percent of respondents indicated that they had reached out to their banks for bridge financing, and 27 percent of respondents had applied for a federal Small Business Administration Economic Disaster Injury Loan.