UNI completes fourth survey on the pandemic's impact on Iowa businesses

For the fourth time since March of 2020, UNI's Institute for Decision Making (IDM) and Strategic Marketing Services (SMS) have partnered with the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) to complete a statewide survey assessing the current economic conditions and ongoing impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on Iowa's businesses and organizations.

This fourth survey was launched in late March and closed in mid-April. Over 2,600 businesses and nonprofit organizations completed the survey. Respondents were from all 99 Iowa counties and 432 different communities.

Pandemic Impact Stat

Nearly 60% of the respondents stated they were being negatively affected due to the lasting impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. This is an improvement from the percentage of respondents in the survey completed a year ago (65.1%) and a significant improvement from the survey completed in March 2020 (83.6%) and May 2020 (84%).

Some industry sectors are still being impacted more than others with the Accommodation and Food Services (70.8%), Health Care and Social Assistance (69.3%), Manufacturing (67.4%) and Wholesale Trade (67.2%) sectors having the highest percentage of employers being negatively impacted..

A significant challenge for respondents is that they are currently experiencing or anticipate experiencing negative disruptions within their supply chain within the next year. Overall, 80.1% of the respondents stated they are or anticipate challenges, but for respondents with 25 or more employees the percentage was nearly 85%.

The top concerns respondents have with respect to current economic conditions created due to the lasting impacts of the coronavirus pandemic were inflation (64.3%), workforce availability (50.6%), revenue loss (36%) and decreasing consumer confidence/spending (31%).

In the coming weeks, IDM and SMS will be producing a statewide executive summary, rural business report and nonprofit report based on the Survey 4 results that will be available at this link. Reports for the three previous surveys are also available through that link. IDM and SMS's work on this fourth Iowa Business Impact Survey was once again supported through UNI's EDA University Center which is funded through the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration.