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COVID-19 Hits KC Regional Business Community Hard

by Megan Segura | Mar 30, 2020

March 30, 2020 - The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, Civic Council of Greater Kansas City and the Kansas City Area Development Council, along with the State of Kansas and the State of Missouri, released today the results of a survey of 1,300 business members and stakeholders across the two-state KC region regarding the immediate impact and planned response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. 

The purpose of the survey was to collect and share information that will open up business partnerships, policy considerations and trade efforts to ensure the KC region does not fall behind as it emerges from the health crisis.

“The business survey quantifies the concerns the KC Chamber has been hearing from our individual members, especially from our small businesses,” said Joe Reardon, President & CEO of the KC Chamber.  “Financial assistance is a key priority, and, in conversations with our Congressional representatives, we have been asking them to ensure the Kansas City region receives its fair share of federal relief dollars.” 

“Every employer in our region is facing pressure and uncertainty because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Marc Hill, president of the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City. “All of our organizations believed it was important to collaborate on one survey to collect information efficiently and share that information back with our members, as well as our partners and public officials.“

Responses from nearly 350 small, medium and large KC area businesses across a dozen different industry sectors highlighted workforce, financial and supply chain considerations in responding to COVID-19’s impact on their business. Key findings include:

  • The top three most critical tools needed by businesses are access to workforce, tax relief, and short-term and low-interest loans. 

  • More than half of survey respondents expect to struggle to meet financial obligations.

  • One out of four businesses are reducing their workforce temporarily or permanently. 

  • More than 90 percent of respondents are rescheduling or cancelling large meetings and events. 

  • For companies large and small, employees’ health and well being is a top concern.

  • Businesses are seeing equal supply chain impact from multiple directions including limited access to critical goods, decreased demand and delay in receiving goods.

  • One third of medium to extra large businesses (50-1,000+ employees) and more than half of small businesses (less than 50 employees) would not be able to comply with changes to FMLA outlined in Families First Coronavirus Response Act, or H.R. 6201.

  • More than half of all small to medium-sized businesses (1 to 249 employees) responded that they would be interested in a low-interest rate SBA loan.

  • When asked about the broader community, businesses listed these top concerns: access to medical care; child care; food bank support; and housing relief. 

“This collaborative civic effort will kick start conversations across the KC region to prepare our business community for the post-pandemic economy,” said Tim Cowden, president and CEO, Kansas City Area Development Council. “The regions that address business needs early and aggressively will be the ones to remain competitive for new business growth and jobs.”

A complete summary of survey responses can be found online in the following locations: 

About the KC Chamber
The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce is the area’s oldest and largest chamber of commerce.  Founded in 1887, its goal was, as one of the founders put it, to “make Kansas City a good place to live in.”  That goal continues today. The KC Chamber focuses on growing the region’s economy, advocating the interests of business and the community in the public policy arena, increasing its 2000 members’ visibility and connectivity, and providing innovative programs and resources that help members grow their businesses. KCChamber.com

About the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City
The Civic Council of Greater Kansas City is a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization led and supported by the largest, private employers in the Kansas City region, driving key initiatives for regional growth including KC Rising, KC Tomorrow and the Heartland Civic Collaborative, as well as advocating for public policies that support the economic growth and quality of life of the Kansas City region. CivicCouncil.org

About the Kansas City Area Development Council
The Kansas City Area Development Council is a private, nonprofit organization charged with representing the entire two-state, 18-county region of Greater Kansas City in marketing the area as a business and lifestyle destination. For more than 40 years, KCADC’s mission has been to brand the KC region as one product to stimulate economic growth and enhance awareness of the metro’s assets to create positive perceptions. ThinkKC.com


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