From AMLA President/CEO Tami Reist
It goes without saying the coronavirus has had a heartbreaking effect on our nation. An important part of this recovery is a return of jobs, the successful reopening of retail businesses, and an influx of tax dollars into our communities so local governments can provide the services vital to their residents. These are the core purposes of tourism and it is vital we do our part to help in this recovery period.
With this in mind, AMLA conducted a survey of our 500-plus members through the month of April. The purpose was to give us insight into the impact of the pandemic on your business. This data will prove invaluable in helping us navigate the crisis and orchestrate a recovery.
Here are the highlights of some the 17 question survey:
• More than 85% of respondents said the COVID-19 pandemic was having a significant impact on their programs, services, or general operations.
• Just over 80% anticipated the virus having a significant imparts on their business in the coming months.
• The top three impacts of the virus by category were: cancellation of programs (83.56%), disruption of services to visitors, and budgetary implications related to strains on the economy (both at 78.08%). Other segments were disruption of supplies or services provided by partners/vendors (52.05%), cancellation of fundraising event (45.21%), increased and sustained staff and volunteer absences (41.01%), and staff reduction (39.73%).
* Relating to financial steps taken, a majority anticipated loss of revenue projects (79.45%a), a recalibration of their budget (73.97%), and a reduction in overhead/cost strategies (71.23%).
• Most businesses applied for the federal paycheck protection program (41.10%) and Small Business Association economic injury disaster loans (31.51%).
• When asked what percentage of their annual budget did they anticipate not having in sales this year, most projects a 20-30% reduction (19.40%) followed by a 30-40% reduction (16.42%).
• Surprisingly, most reported no reduction in their staff size (43.84%). The next highest response was a 40-50% reduction in staff (10.96%), and an increase in staff size (8.22%).
There are many interesting insights in the study, especially in the written response sections. To view all the responses, go to the on-line survey at www.surveymonkey.com/stories/SM-5TWH8Z8D
There are many other trends we are studying and will pivot our efforts as they become more apparent. Rest assured, we will continue to diligently update our hospitality partners on the latest response plans and to advocate on your behalf.
Together we can do so much to help North Alabama recover – as an industry and as a community.