This article was written by Telly Tucker, Director of Arlington Economic Development.
We’re now in the sixth week of various shutdowns, teleworking, staff reductions and other challenges in Arlington as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Arlington Economic Development (AED) has been closely monitoring the effects on all our businesses.
In the latter half of March, just as the gravity of the situation was beginning to emerge, we conducted our first COVID-19 business survey. We had more than 600 businesses take the survey, which concluded on March 30 — coincidentally, the day before the April 1 Stay at Home Executive Order took effect in Virginia.
But even before that order was in place, it came as no surprise for us to learn that Arlington businesses were impacted — some significantly. Overall, the majority of our business respondents reported declining sales, hiring freezes, supply chain disruptions and delayed or canceled investments, with a considerable number having laid off workers as a result of the pandemic.
More than 70% of all Arlington businesses, and more than 90% of small businesses (those with fewer than 50 employees), said COVID-19 was “extremely disruptive” or “very disruptive” to their business operations. Additional details on survey results can be found on our website.