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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


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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