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Partnership Releases COVID-19 Survey Results

March 26, 2020

GREATER DES MOINES, IA — In response to the recent developments with COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the Greater Des Moines Partnership sought feedback via survey from local businesses and community members to determine how they are being affected by the pandemic, how they are addressing the situation and what The Partnership can do to help.

With more than 600 respondents from across Greater Des Moines (DSM), The Partnership is releasing the COVID-19 survey results today. The high-level findings are as follows:

  • Respondents understand and accept the reality that they must change business practices and policies.
  • Respondents are quickly evolving to respond to the ever-changing situation.
  • More than 80 respondents offered to help others, and more than 80 also expressed that they were in need of assistance. (These responses have been kept confidential.)

Specifically, when asked about the biggest concerns regarding COVID-19, 89% said impact on local and small businesses; 80% said overall public health; 69% said impact on our medical and healthcare professionals and systems; and 66% long-term impact on the United States economy. Respondents also shared ways in which their organization is being impacted by COVID-19. Their responses included 63% making changes to the way they operate, 47% starting to restrict spending and 41% encouraging team members to work remotely.

“Our region is continuing to react to the evolving challenges associated with COVID-19, and so many businesses and organizations are pivoting quickly to come up with innovative solutions and offer help to others in the community,” said Jay Byers, CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. “Although these survey results underscore the challenges so many in our region face, we are also encouraged by the countless examples of people in our community coming together, supporting each other, supporting local businesses and keeping a positive attitude in the face of uncertainty.”

Additional pivots from organizations included 64% routinely sharing updates on COVID-19 with employees and external audiences; 63% rescheduling or canceling large meetings and events; 61% updating their organizational priorities, policies and operating procedures as needed; and 60% encouraging additional cleaning of workspaces and common areas.

At this time, nearly half (49%) of the survey respondents did not anticipate needing financial assistance while approximately one-eighth of respondents (13%) said they are concerned their business may not be able to sustain or overcome this financing challenge. Of the respondents, 24% are anticipating needing up to $100,000 in financial assistance for their business, with others indicating they will need more.

The qualitative feedback within the survey results were substantial with more than 65% of respondents providing comments. The Partnership received numerous statements about layoffs that have already taken place or will be happening in the coming weeks and months.

With the survey results, The Partnership has activated the following strategies:

The survey was distributed to Greater Des Moines Partnership stakeholders via e-newsletter, e-mail communications and social media channels, as well as promoted by the Partnership Affiliate Chambers, Des Moines Business Record and Des Moines Register. The survey was open for responses from March 16 – 24 with a majority of responses submitted within the first several days. Respondents could select more than one response on each question.

About the Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 24 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and more than 365 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.