Foundation Surveys Pandemic’s Impact on Long Island’s Small Businesses

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The Rauch Foundation, a Long Island-based organization that invests in community growth, is conducting a survey for local entrepreneurs to learn how COVID-19 has impacted their business.

The survey aims to gather information and provide the foundation with a deeper understanding of what Long Island’s small businesses and downtown districts need to recover.

“It’s easy to guess what the impact of the pandemic might be on local small businesses,” said Nancy Rauch Douzinas, president of the Rauch Foundation, “but until we hear from the business owners themselves, we can’t really know for sure. 

“As the region defines how to move forward,” she continued, “it’s important that our business community is included in the recovery process and that their experiences and hardships are taken into consideration.”

The survey is available online in English and Spanish through Nov. 30. It takes about five to 10 minutes and asks questions about how store owners were managing the changing retail environment before the pandemic, how COVID-19 restrictions have impacted their bottom line and what types of solutions they would support to move forward.

The Rauch Foundation has also hired canvassers to walk through downtowns and speak with business owners.

Kevin Law, president of Long Island Association and co-chair of the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council, noted that this survey is “the first one exclusively focused on our village communities — the heart of our region.”

“I strongly encourage local businesses to reply to the survey,” he added, “so we might better plan appropriate responses to current conditions.”

The Rauch Foundation previously published the Long Island Index, which consistently studied Long Island downtowns, for 15 years until 2019. With this initiative, they hope to reinvigorate this work by helping Long Island downtowns in this difficult time.

A full report and analysis of the survey results is expected in early 2021.

Business owners can access the survey at research.net/r/lidowntown.

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