In the hopes of better understanding just how badly COVID-19 has impacted local businesses, institutions and organizations, SEAGO is asking 400 such groups to participate in an “economic resilience survey.”
The SouthEastern Arizona Governments Organization in a non-profit organization that helps local governments find solutions to area-wide problems and links them to state and federal agencies. On Monday, they sent the survey to groups throughout Graham, Greenlee, Cochise and Santa Cruz counties that were identified with the help of small business development centers and Chambers of Commerce.
Once they obtain the answers, the nonprofit hopes to develop a toolkit for the various regions in the event of another crisis.
The short survey asks such things as what business sector the participant works in, for example, mining, agriculture, retail, health care; how many employees they have, if they’ve closed down; how their sales revenue has been impacted; if they’ve laid anyone off and what they’ve done to adapt during the pandemic.
The survey, which is being administered with the help of Northern Arizona University, is also available on SEAGO’s website and Facebook page, said Maria Porter, the new economic development program manager for SEAGO.
“It’s anonymous. So the information that you put in there, it’s not going to be identified that you’re the one that responded a certain way,” Porter said. “Businesses can feel comfortable that their information is going to remain anonymous and if they’re not comfortable answering a certain question, they can skip it.”
NAU analyze the data and put it into a report, which will likely take about a month, Porter said.
“Once we get that information in the survey results and kind of hear from the community, we’ll better be able to say, ‘Hey, this is what we can do and how we can help,’” Porter said.
The tool kits will likely include information about funding, workforce training and strategic planning, among other things, Porter said. They’ll differ in some ways depending upon geography; each participant is asked to include their zip code.