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Coronavirus

Survey Shows Downtown Economic Loss

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Jun 5, 2020
A recently released economic study conducted by Wilmington Downtown Inc. shows more significant job and sales losses for some downtown businesses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
 
Wilmington Downtown Inc. (WDI) sent a survey to about 475 mostly small business owners within the district, and received a total of 68 responses from business owners or managers, according to a news release.
 
The May survey is the second such economic impact survey completed by WDI to gauge the effects of COVID-19 on downtown businesses. The first survey took a look at impacts in March and early April.
 
When comparing employment Feb. 1 to the number of employed May 1, business owners reported a 55% reduction in full-time employees and an 83% decrease in part-time workers, according to the survey.
 
In terms of sales and revenues, 51% of the respondents reported sales and revenues decreased by about 90% in April, when compared to that same month the previous year. “This is up from 28% reporting losses of this size in the previous survey,” WDI officials stated in the release.
 
The data is a snapshot of the impacts and was provided largely by those who own or manage restaurants, bars, galleries, inns and attractions, officials said.
 
In April, only some essential retail shops could be open, restaurants were still only able to offer carry-out meals and hotels had strict occupancy limits due to state and local restrictions.
 
More businesses are opening their doors now that the state has started its phased system of reopening the economy.
 
“These data-driven reports provide valuable insights that we are using to shape our recovery and economic development efforts,” WDI Chair Dane Scalise said in the release. “WDI is committed to obtaining and sharing this information with the public and other community leaders so that we can work collaboratively to regain jobs and sales for our small businesses.”
 

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