COVID-19 business survey results highlight concerns from SC businesses reopening

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce released COVID-19 business survey results on Tuesday showing concerns from South Carolina businesses reopening.

A lack of demand and workplace safety liability were among the top survey concerns. Nearly two-thirds of businesses are concerned about liability and exposure to customers.

South Carolina businesses begin to re-open their doors, putting employees back to work, which means eliminating their eligibility to file for unemployment.

“If your job comes back or you’re offered your job back or you get another one that’s supposed to be reported and at that point, you don’t need those benefits anymore,” Gov. McMaster said during Tuesday’s second accelerateSC task force meeting.

When employees are offered their job back, the $600 weekly unemployment is gone. Like many hairstylists and non-essential workers, Gabrielle Brown, a Myrtle Beach hair salon manager is ready to get back booking her clients, but fears going back too early.

“I have two autoimmune disorders and I have asthma which greatly increases the risk should I catch COVID-19,” Brown said.

As businesses begin to get the green light to reopen, being at high risk keep some employees back, if their financial situation can afford to. Others may feel financial pressure to jump the gun as their financial funding would come to a stop.

“Having no clients, not being able to work has been difficult because there’s no money coming in so how are we supposed to pay rent, right?” Brown said.

Some employees have been able to hang on for a month and continue to wait on their weekly federal funding. Without the benefits, financial pressure may sway employees back to work before feeling comfortable.

Again, Gov. McMaster said once someone is employed or is rehired, all benefits will go away. The survey from South Carolina businesses showed exposure to customers was one of the top employee concerns.

Other concerns from businesses:

  • Lack of demand is the biggest challenge – 50%
  • Ability to cover payroll- about 38%
  • Have had to lay-off or furlough employees- More than 40% of businesses
  • Businesses who responded they have had to lay-off/furlough employees plan to bring at least 50% of those employees back within three months- Almost 90%
  • Businesses have implemented or are considering implementing a pay cut for employees due to COVID-19 – 40%
  • Businesses are concerned about workplace safety liability and exposure to customers – around 66%
  • Operating with a partial continuation of sale and delivery of services/products using alternative approaches- about 50%
  • Anticipate placing a heightened focus for the next six to 12 months around employee handwashing, distancing, not allowing employees at work if sick or running a fever, and additional cleaning and disinfecting of the workplace- 80%

Click here to view the entire survey results. 

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