ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A new COVID-19 Economic Impact Survey released by the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation shows more than 84% of Anchorage businesses have experienced disruptions due to COVID-19.
Nearly 10% of respondents said their businesses had permanently closed, and more than 12% indicated they are at risk of permanently closing.
“This is challenging for us because we have a long winter ahead of us,” says Bill Popp AEDC president and CEO. “Winter’s going to be a little tougher this year than we would normally expect economically. The challenges we face are many and we are very concerned about how many businesses will still be open in the spring when we need them the most.”
Nearly 70% of businesses surveyed say they have seen a decline in revenue since the onset of COVID-19.
Popp says the survey shows a demonstrable need for more pandemic aid from the federal government, in the form of Paycheck Protection Program funds, more Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funding for states to disperse, as well as unemployment assistance.
“I am deeply concerned that if we don’t see additional federal assistance, we are going to see an accelerated rate of business closures and job losses which is going to have a ripple effect in our economy,” says Popp. “We need Congress to act. We need new programs put in place sooner than later. We need to get these programs going.”
Popp says there is still some funding help available through the Municipality of Anchorage for housing, food and small businesses. Businesses who deal face-to-face with customers are at risk, Popp says, and he encourages people to wear masks to protect the economy.
“Outbreak in these businesses will shut them down; they’ll have to sanitize, they’ll have to lay off their workers temporarily and they’ll have to make sure it’s a safe place to come back to for both their workers and their customers,” says Popp. “That’s devastating for businesses in these current circumstances so you can do a small gesture, even though none of us like wearing them please wear your mask when you’re out in public”
The survey, which ran from Aug. 14-21, had 195 businesses participate.
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