Third COVID-19 Survey Tracks Delaware Business Response

Respondents who secured Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding were able to retain about 2,400 of their employees and rehire another 331 employees.

A statewide COVID-19 business survey administered three times so far by Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP) and its economic development partners is informing Delaware’s responses to the pandemic and its plan for a full recovery.

Survey responses in each round have been well-distributed geographically and by sector, with all three Delaware counties and key Delaware industries represented.

“Delaware’s was one of the first COVID-19 surveys in the field,” noted Kurt Foreman, DPP president and CEO. “In addition to the qualitative information DPP is gathering by hearing firsthand from businesses throughout the state, the quantitative survey helps inform how we can best support businesses as Delaware navigates its way to a full recovery.”

Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP)

The first round of the survey was conducted March 20 to 24, before non-essential businesses closed, and had 320 respondents. The third round of the Delaware business COVID-19 response survey was conducted from April 27 to 30 and resulted in responses from 285 Delaware businesses. New questions for this round of the survey included those regarding the status of Small Business Administration (SBA) loans and the Paycheck Protection Program.

Topline take-aways for the third survey include:

  • 39% of respondents applied for an SBA Economic Disaster Injury loan. Of those businesses, 23% were successful in securing a loan, 16% were unsuccessful, and 62% have pending applications.
  • 61% of respondents applied for the Paycheck Protection Program
    (PPP). Of those businesses, 48% were successful in securing funding, 8% were unsuccessful and 44% have pending applications.
  • Among respondents who secured PPP funding, the average grant was nearly $400,000, with a median grant amount of about $100,000. Collectively, this funding allowed respondents to retain about 2,400 of their employees and rehire another 331 employees.
  • Among respondents whose business were open, supply chains still seemed relatively intact. On average, respondents indicated they were able to ship and receive more than 78% of goods and services, up from about 70% in the second survey. Figures were largely similar, looking at results by business size.
  • Collectively, there have been about 1,900 separations (furloughs, layoffs and termination) at responding businesses, accounting for about 17% of the total workforce among responding businesses (compared with 13% in the second survey). While industries like Retail Trade; Accommodation and Food Services; and Arts, Entertainment and Recreation continue to account for an outsize share of separations, there have been downsizings in nearly every industry.
  • Revenues are down for nearly all industries and business sizes, with 82% of respondents indicating a decline in revenue (similar to the second survey). On average, respondents indicated their business could survive for about 12 weeks – in line with the average from earlier surveys – but this includes a wide range of responses. About one-quarter of respondents could survive four weeks or less, similar to the second survey’s findings.

Submitted by the Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP). 

Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP)

DPP, Delaware Division Of Small Business Host Zoom Town Hall Meetings

Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP) teamed with Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long, the Division of Small Business and business membership organizations throughout the state to conduct seven virtual Recovery Town Hall sessions in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Following coordinated outreach by state legislators and local chambers of commerce, approximately 1,000 small business owners and employees attended the events, each of which covered a different geographic area across Delaware’s three counties.

Following a welcome by the lieutenant governor, Kurt Foreman, DPP president and CEO, and Damian DeStefano, Division of Small Business director, discussed the federal Phase 1 and Phase 2 guidelines and responded to participant inquiries and comments.

Comments overwhelmingly centered on participants’ eagerness to reopen and follow any necessary precautions, protocols and procedures. Many also outlined the extensive measures they already had taken in preparation for reopening. In response to input gathered from these sessions, Delaware Gov. John Carney issued an order with interim guidelines – a sort of “Phase 0.5,” as it was referred to anecdotally – that allowed a number of businesses to reopen May 8 in a modified fashion until requirements for Phase I are met.

Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP)