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Business survey to gauge Covid-19's impact

The local economy has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

A survey by the Buffalo Niagara Partnership and elected leaders from Erie and Niagara counties will gauge what the impact has been on businesses, and identify any gaps in resources they need to recover.

The survey is set to launch Tuesday. It will be distributed to members of the Partnership, as well as through 14 other area chambers of commerce, economic development organizations and tourism bureaus. Businesses can also request a survey through a link on the Partnership's website, starting Tuesday.

Mower, the marketing communications agency, has donated its services to develop and conduct the survey and analyze the results. Responses will be due by April 24.

Dottie Gallagher, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership's president and CEO, said the goal is to generate responses from a cross-section of employers.

"I think the timing is good to really take a pulse, beyond the unemployment rate, about what's happening inside these companies right now, big and small," she said.

The survey is anonymous, in order protect businesses' sensitive information. But it will ask respondents to classify themselves by industry, range of employees, the ZIP code they are in, and whether or not they are an "essential" business.

The survey will ask respondents about their most pressing concerns as a result of Covid-19 in both the short term and long term, whether they have put off investment decisions, and about changes in revenue.

The survey also asks them what steps they have taken to manage the impact on the bottom line, how equipped they were to work remotely, and impact on staffing.

Respondents will also asked how local and state government can be helpful to business in current conditions, and their top concerns about Covid-19's impact on the community.

The results will be shared with the public in a webinar on May 6.

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