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Houston Business Barometer Week 4: Half of Local Businesses Have Sought Federal Funding

Published Apr 29, 2020 by A.J. Mistretta

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Half of small businesses surveyed by the Greater Houston Partnership this week said they have applied for assistance through federal stimulus programs, and about 60% of those have received funding so far. About a quarter of respondents say they do not intend to apply for assistance. 

A total of 111 companies responded to the fourth Houston Business Barometer survey conducted by the Partnership between April 27-28. 

Since the survey began four weeks ago, the number of respondents who have instituted work-from-home practices in their company has grown to nearly 92% (up from 84%), while those who have shut down whole or partial operations increased to nearly 30% (up from 22%). 

Approximately 39% of companies said they have enacted a hiring freeze, roughly the same as four weeks ago. 

The near-term outlook among business leaders is improving a bit. Those describing their outlook as “better than a week ago” jumped to 22.7% this week, up from just 5.7% when the survey began. 

The survey showed that revenues have increased for some since week 1 and those experiencing decreasing revenues are falling. 

Asked how the fallout from the pandemic has impacted their operations, 44% say the impact has been severe (down from 53% four weeks ago), and another 36% say their operations have been moderately impacted (up from nearly 29% four weeks ago). 

Respondent firms’ top three concerns continue to be revenue/sales (84%), employee well-being (63%) and profits (63%). 

The following breaks down how long firms now believe they could remain afloat based on projected cash flow and without federal assistance:

Time Period                       Respondents
1-2 weeks                          0%
3-4 weeks                          2.8%
5-6 weeks                          5.5%
7-8 weeks                          9.2%
3-6 months                        21.1%
Longer than 6 months      51.4%
Don’t know                        10.1%

See results from Week 3

Learn about the resources available via the Greater Houston Business Recovery Center. Visit the Partnership's COVID-19 Resource page for updates, guidance for employers and more information. And sign up for daily email alerts from the Partnership as the situation develops. 

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