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Data: New Idaho COVID-19 survey illustrates impact to business, economy

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The Idaho Departments of Commerce and Agriculture released the results of a new business impact survey that shows a deep impact from COVID-19.

The survey, taken from 1,305 voluntary respondents does not follow “scientific” poll standards – but does provide a deep well of voluntary responses. More than 1,305 people took the survey – and after culling some invalid replies, the state compiled results from 1,225 people.

The bottom line? COVID-19 had a massive impact on the state.

  • 83% of businesses saw a decrease in revenue.
    • Of this group, 41% said revenue dropped off by at least 3/4s.
  • 69% said they had to stop some or all operations
  • 51% said they cut employees
  • 76% said they saw “negative impacts” to supply chains.

Suspended businesses

When it came to business operations, nearly a quarter of Idaho’s businesses said they completely shutdown in the wake of COVID-19. Another 46.5% said they suspended at least some operations. Just 30.8% said everything stayed the same.


For businesses that said they cut employees, the largest category for the decrease was cutting staff by 75% or more. A very small number – less than four percent – added staff.


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On the revenue side, 38.9% of businesses said they saw dollars coming in the door drop off by 75% or more. Less than 2% of businesses saw an increase in revenue.


Lastly, the survey asked when business owners felt the recovery in Idaho would take place. It asked how long after the stay at home orders lift that owners felt the business would “recover to normal operations.”

The responses fairly evenly split over the four possible time horizons:

  • 23.5% said 0-3 months
  • 25.6% said 3-6 months
  • 29.8% said 6-12 months
  • 21% said more than a year

When split out by business category, some are more optimistic than others.

  • Respondents in the arts, entertainment and recreation category were the most pessimistic, with 48.1% of those surveyed saying it would take more than a year. That industry segment saw 95.5% of respondents saying they saw a decrease in revenue.
  • The Administrative support category saw the most optimism, with just 11.8% saying recovery would take more than a year.

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