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Houston Business Barometer Week 3: 80% Say Operations Moderately or Severely Impacted by Coronavirus Fallout

More than 80% of small business executives say their operations have been moderately or severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and corresponding shutdown, according to the latest member survey conducted by the Greater Houston Partnership. 

A total of 140 companies responded to the third Houston Business Barometer survey conducted by the Partnership between April 20-21. The number of respondents who have instituted work-from-home practices in their company was essentially unchanged from last week at 92.5%, while 24.6% have shut down whole or partial operations, also unchanged from a week ago. 

About 45% of responding companies said they had enacted a hiring freeze and 54.1% indicated their revenues have declined since their last billing cycle (up slightly from 53.6% last week). 

When asked about their firm’s short-term outlook during the week that ended April 18 compared with the previous week, 35.6% indicated it had gotten worse ( up from 30.7% who reported a worse outlook in the week earlier-period) and another 47.1% said there was no change ( up from 42.1%). 

Asked how the fallout from the pandemic has impacted their operations, 38% said their operations have been severely impacted while 43.8% said the impact has been moderate. 

Respondent firms’ top three concerns continue to be revenue/sales (84.7%), employee well-being (65.5%) and profits (64.8%). 

The following breaks down how long firms now believe they could remain afloat based on projected cash flow and without federal assistance:

Time Period                       Respondents
1-2 weeks                          1.5%
3-4 weeks                          6.6%
5-6 weeks                          4.4%
7-8 weeks                          5.1%
3-6 months                        24.8%
Longer than 6 months        50.4%
Don’t know                        7.3%

See results from Week 2

Learn about the resources available via the Greater Houston Business Recovery Center. Visit the Partnership's COVID-19 Resource page for updates, guidance for employers and more information. And sign up for daily email alerts from the Partnership as the situation develops.