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Chamber of Commerce polling Jefferson City area businesses on COVID-19 impact


The Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce is working to gauge how local businesses are shouldering the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent stay-at-home orders.

A new webpage on the chamber's website provides a list of resources, guidelines and contacts meant to help businesses and organizations withstand the pandemic. The page also includes a link to a questionnaire aimed at gleaning the impact on local employment.

After collecting information about the business or organization, the 10-question survey asks participants whether they have announced any temporary, permanent or future layoffs due to COVID-19, if so, how many.

The survey asks participants if they are currently looking to hire employees, how many and for what period of time. After that, participants are asked if they need or will need financial assistance.

Missy Bonnot, a spokesperson for the chamber, only release preliminary data from the first week of data collection.

Of the 125 respondents, 25 percent said they had to fire employees or will have to fire employees soon. Bonnot said 40 to 55 percent of respondents said they have made new hires or will soon be seeking new employees as a result of the virus.

The jobs that are disappearing, Bonnot said, are from the food, retail and personal service sectors, while the new opportunities are appearing in manufacturing, health care and professional service sectors.

The chamber also compiled a comprehensive breakdown of resources covering employment issues, financial help, federal and state legislation, supply needs and the list of helpful contact links below:

One of the main resources for small businesses struggling with the effects of the pandemic is the U.S. Small Business Administration's Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance.

The program is aimed at helping any small business with fewer than 500 employees, private non-profit organizations and veterans organizations by providing advanced disaster loans of up to $10,000.

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Joe McLean

Joe reports stories all across mid-Missouri, including our WasteBusters series of reports, and co-anchors ABC 17 News at 9 a.m. with Zara Barker.


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