As Gov. Greg Abbott rolls out his plan to open Texas following the COVID-19 pandemic starting May 1, the City of Fort Worth’s Economic Development team is sending out a follow-up survey to local business owners to assess the state of their business six weeks in, and identify additional ways to help.
The results from the original Business Survey, which launched in March and generated more than 1,000 responses, led to several outcomes that the city has taken already to provide assistance to area businesses:
According to the original survey results, the most significant challenges to businesses across industries are revenue/cash flow, rent/lease expenses, payroll and debt concerns. As a result, these became some of the key focus areas on the city’s Business Resources page.
The city’s Business Resiliency Microloan program was also launched to help address revenue/cash flow challenges and assist with covering expenses.
The city’s Loans & Grants page has been updated regularly with opportunities that span a wide range of industries, from small businesses, to women- and minority-owned businesses, to restaurants and creatives. It also provides information on SBA loans and the Paycheck Protection Program.
Businesses that participated in the first survey have also been contacted by the city via email with updates as soon as new resources and programs have become available.
New survey, new focus
The goal of the city’s new survey is to assess the impact that the past several weeks have had on businesses’ revenue and staff size, assess businesses’ ability to pivot to online or remote operations, and learn what resources businesses applied for in hopes of obtaining financial support (and whether or not they were eligible or aware of such programs).
Business owners in Fort Worth are encouraged to take the follow-up survey, now available at fortworthtexas.gov/covid-19-business-survey.
“As businesses in Fort Worth start to reopen, it’s important that we understand where they are now,” said Robert Sturns, the city’s economic development director.
“Some businesses have been pretty creative in working to maintain operations, some might still be closed, and some might be in transition or somewhere in between. Either way, business operations will be impacted, and their employees will be affected, and we’re trying to determine where some of those stress points are so we know where we should focus our efforts.”