COVID-19 Response Survey: Preliminary Results

CAMEO members responded swiftly to the pandemic and economic disruption, shifting gears to address the most pressing needs of small business owners all across California. 

We asked for your stories and data on how you’ve responded to the crisis and helped your clients weather the storm. Some key takeaways from the survey’s preliminary results include:

  • Two-thirds of respondents created a grant fund for their community in response to COVID-19, while 33.3% have not provided any funds but are considering doing something to address the crisis.
  • Business assistance providers have seen a surge in clients, with an average increase of 183% from February to April.
  • Two-thirds of respondents moved programs and services, including training, fully online.
  • Other changes respondents made include: streamlining processes to help clients as quickly as possible, create COVID-specific resource pages on their websites, and reorganized existing loans to provide relief to struggling clients.
  • Two-thirds saw a change in the type of clientele they served before and during the pandemic. These differences include business owners from outside the organization’s usual geographic service areas, and business owners who had not sought help from such organizations before.

Though California is in Stage 2 of the reopening process, many small businesses are not able to resume operations; and those that are will have limited capacity and require extra resources to keep customers and employees safe. The need for microlenders and business assistance organizations will continue for the foreseeable future. If you haven’t taken our COVID response survey, please take a few minutes to do so. We want to be able to share our collective impact with funders, policymakers, and other stakeholders.