WEST ISLIP

Local COVID-19 survey results shows how West Islip businesses adjusted in 2020

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Few West Islip businesses saw a positive fiscal impact in 2020, according to the results conducted by the West Islip Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber released the results of its 2020 COVID-19 Impact Survey, where over 20 percent of West Islip businesses participated.

“Businesses indicated that they are watching spending closely and making adjustments to how they operate,” WICC president Rich Carpenter said in a survey results letter that was released to chamber members. “Few businesses have seen a positive fiscal impact; with most reporting a significant reduction in revenue or sales. While many businesses closed temporarily, others used innovating practices to continue to operate.”

The majority of the businesses that participated in the survey fell into the “community nonprofit” industries category. Results also came primarily from local businesses in the “other” and “professional services” categories.

Approximately 57.1 percent of businesses that participated in the survey said they experienced a decrease in sales or donations, and 37 percent of local businesses said they had started to restrict spending due to the uncertainty of the pandemic.

Roughly 34 percent of participating businesses agreed that they have experienced a significant increase in demand for certain items. The same percentage said they had to adjust their hours of operation due to the pandemic.

On the bright side, a majority of participating businesses – approximately 51.3 percent – deemed the current pandemic circumstances “low impact,” meaning that while the pandemic has impacted the business financially, they are “confident they can last.”

Meanwhile, 30.8 percent of businesses placed the pandemic in the “medium” category, which indicated that the pandemic will cause a “significant impact.”

Only 5.1 percent of businesses placed the impact level to “high,” indicating that the pandemic “may put them out of business.”

Over 70 percent of West Islip businesses that participated in the survey are restricting in-person gatherings, and over 50 percent are providing hand sanitizer for staff and customer use.

In the survey results, Carpenter noted that the chamber of commerce is actively working to organize promotional initiatives to help assist chamber members this year.

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