Mobile businesses adjust spending, work schedules during COVID-19

Mobile businesses adjust spending, work schedules during COVID-19
More than 90 percent of Mobile area businesses say COVID-19 has affected them, according to a new survey. (Dennis Washington / Alabama NewsCenter)

More than 90 percent of businesses in Mobile say COVID-19 has affected their business, according to a new survey by the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber surveyed the business community in Mobile between May 14 and May 20, asking nine questions to gauge how businesses have been affected by the pandemic, what actions the businesses were taking and their outlook for the remainder of the year. The chamber said it received 506 responses, thanks to help in securing responses from AGC Alabama, Coastal Alabama Partnership, Community Foundation of South Alabama, Downtown Mobile Alliance, Home Builders Association of Metro Mobile, Mobile Area Association of Realtors, Partners for Environmental Progress, United Way of Southwest Alabama and Visit Mobile. Survey results include:

1. Is your business impacted by COVID-19?

Yes – 90.3%
No – 5.9%
Unsure – 3.3%
No answer – <1%

2. If Yes, how? (the top five responses from largest to smallest percentage)

Watching spending closely – 63%
Having to adjust work schedules and location – 58%
Anticipating future impacts due to closures and delays – 57%
Event and/or order cancellations – 55%
Reduced operations hours, shifts, work days or wages – 49%

Businesses said they are unsure about what to expect the rest of the year, although they are more optimistic about fourth quarter sales than third quarter.

“For the last two months, the global economy has turned upside down,” said Bill Sisson, Mobile Area Chamber’s president and CEO. “As Mobile businesses continue the relentless work to right the ship – keeping the health and safety of customers and employees in the forefront – we turned to our members for additional guidance.”

Sisson says the chamber will continue to look for ways to help its members and area businesses survive and thrive during and beyond the pandemic. Since March, the chamber has started daily teleconference calls with its members, helping connect needs with resources. It has also created a guidebook for businesses to use and implement safe and sanitized cleaning practices.

More results of the survey can be viewed here.

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