New Survey Shows Staggering Impact On Colorado Businesses

Co-owner Jenni Morgan cleans up at Brick House Salon in Greeley. (Photo: Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)

The numbers were bound to be bad.

They might be worse than expected.

Thursday, Betsy Markey, Executive Director of the state of Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, said the impact COVID-19 is having on Colorado businesses is severe, according to a new survey of Colorado business owners.

"Loss of sales is staggering," she said.

And so are layoffs.

"Twenty-three percent [of businesses surveyed] are anticipating potentially having to lay off more than 50 percent of their employees during this crisis."

In addition, of the businesses contacted, 62 percent stated they expect 2020 actual revenues will be at least 25 percent below projections.

"Businesses need liquidity now," Markey said. "Businesses are holding on for a relatively quick recovery. We know they can hang on for another one to six months but after that it's going to continue to get very difficult."

Markey said the final numbers of the survey are still being complied.

If there is a bright spot, many business owners know there is help available.

"Most respondents feel they are pretty well-informed on relief programs and many of them have been able to take advantage of federal programs," Markey said.

One of most popular programs is the Paycheck Protection Program, which has helped get millions of dollars into the hands of business owners to primarily assist with payroll.

Markey would like to see one change to the program to better aid business owners.

"These are forgivable loans for eight weeks of payroll and we think that time period should be lengthened. [We need] more time for businesses to use these loans. To make sure we're covering everyone, an additional traunch of funding is necessary."

In order to better aid business owners, the state has created an online COVID-19 Business Recovery Center at

"In addition to the federal resources, well over a hundred alternative sources of funding are available to businesses in the state, public, private, foundation support, local community support as well," Markey said.

Markey was part of a state teleconference on Thursday, along with Kevin Kline, the state of Colorado Director of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

The full teleconference is below.

5-7-20 Betsy Markey and Kevin Kline State of Colorado teleconference

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