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We created a business impact survey to evaluate how COVID-19 is affecting the downtown business community. The survey questions, designed to understand the current and future level of economic impact on the downtown business community, asked respondents how they are adapting and what, if any, aid they are receiving. We collected responses for a period of 10 days, beginning Thursday, April 9, 2020. Respondents include small businesses such as restaurants, salons, gyms and hair salons, as well as nonprofits and social services. Here is what we found.

Key Findings

  • Downtown’s small and retail businesses have been hit extremely hard by COVID-19 safety restrictions. In particular, downtown restaurants and bars are deeply impacted.
  • Many small and retail downtown businesses are dependent on tourism, events and daily foot traffic. Restrictions on large gatherings, loss of SXSW and festival season and discouraged travel yield economic impacts that are deep and far-reaching.
  • Most businesses have applied for financial assistance but are more concerned with regaining their customer base they’ve built over the years.
  • Loss of current and future revenue presents challenges for many who wish to go back to their pre-COVID state. Unfortunately, many of those businesses are not certain they will be able to return.

Survey Report

Click here to download a pdf of the report.

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