The Michigan City Chamber of Commerce (MCCoC) and the Economic Development Corporation Michigan City (EDCMC) continue to work in unison to provide resources and information to the business community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over two weeks ago, the organizations requested businesses from across the city to complete a survey to share how the pandemic has impacted their businesses. These survey results along with one on one conversations with business leaders will set the path to recovery for local employers, their employees and our community.
As would be expected, the biggest impact is with restaurant and retail businesses in the community. Many of the locally owned small businesses have been forced to either close their doors or drastically reduce their offerings over the last month. These changes in operations have impacted their ability to maintain employees, revenue, and normal spending habits. Of the survey respondents, 33% are already experiencing layoffs or closures and more than 40% have seen their revenue decrease by over 30%, some have seen a decrease in revenue as high as 90%.
The Chamber and the EDCMC will be working with key stakeholders in the community to move Michigan City businesses through this pandemic and forward after it is over. As new information and programs roll out locally and federally, we will continue to be a key resource for our business community. “We have continued to see businesses need to make changes in their operations over the last few weeks to maintain,” said Chamber President, Katie Eaton, “Our small business owners are resilient but they will need assistance to move forward after this abrupt disruption. We stand ready to assist as best we can.”
In addition to what is being provided by the Small Business Administration (SBA) the two organizations are looking at local funding sources to provide immediate relief to small businesses in the Michigan City community. “Small businesses are a crucial part of the fabric of our community and it is our hope that through the information gathered we can work with Federal, State and Local officials to provide assistance and promote economic vitality within the city,” stated EDCMC Executive Director, Clarence Hulse, “COVID-19 has impacted nearly every segment of our national and local economy and both of organizations are committed to rebuilding Michigan City to both physical and economic health.”
To share information as efficiently as possible, our organizations have already partnered with a SERA Solutions to create an easily accessible webpage for COVID-19 resources. The site www.michigancitycovid19.com will continually be updated with information for employers, displaced employees, and the community. Knowing that many workers have been displaced, both organizations will work closely with workforce partners to get community members back to work. A job fair, previously scheduled for April 16th, that was forced to be postponed is a key priority for all partners to have scheduled as soon as possible for the community. A full summary of the survey results can be found on at www.michigancitycovid19.com and questions can be submitted to either organization.