LIHUE, Kauai—Properly over a 3rd of Kauai companies might fail inside the subsequent six months if there isn’t a restoration within the customer business, however almost 70% of enterprise homeowners and managers assist authorities interventions to attempt to include the COVID-19 pandemic, anyway.
Actually, 37.5% of Kauai companies agree that “extra rigorous enforcement interventions would permit for extra enterprise to soundly reopen,” particularly actions to crack down on individuals who don’t put on masks and unsafe giant gatherings.
These are key outcomes of a brand new survey by the Kauai Chamber of Commerce. A complete of 129 companies of the chamber membership of 409 responded. The response charge is larger than many related on-line surveys.
Simply over half of Kauai companies consider Hawaii mustn’t reopen to tourism till each day case numbers have stabilized at a degree acceptable to the state Division of Well being. Almost 15% of enterprise homeowners and managers mentioned Hawaii mustn’t reopen to tourism on Sept. 1 if the case depend then is as excessive as it’s now.
And almost 11% mentioned reopening to tourism ought to be delayed till there’s a vaccine or normal therapy for COVID-19, regardless that enterprise failures might multiply exponentially if vaccines and simpler therapies aren’t launched quickly.
The discovering that 36.5% of companies might fail if tourism doesn’t get well inside six months was apparently larger than a latest report by the College of Hawaii Financial Analysis Group (UHERO), which reported that 6% to 17% of companies believed they might not survive the pandemic disaster.
Of Kauai companies, solely 46% mentioned they’ll survive for greater than six months.
“With nearly 40% of companies indicating they may shut inside six months, this survey can also be a warning signal to authorities and neighborhood leaders,” mentioned Mark Perriello, CEO of the Kauai chamber. “It truly is a dire assertion,” Perriello mentioned in an interview Friday. When chamber officers tallied the survey outcomes, he mentioned, “folks had been stunned. So was I.
“I assumed the membership could be extra evenly cut up. Persons are nervous about the way forward for our island.”
Perriello famous that the brand new Kauai survey was already within the subject when Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell issued the latest lockdown order for Oahu, so it wasn’t clear how — if in any respect — that announcement would have influenced enterprise homeowners on Kauai.
He mentioned the outcomes could also be interpreted in some quarters as at odds with the normal pro-business positions of nationwide, state and native chambers of commerce. However, he mentioned the Kauai chamber “is extra than simply in regards to the companies, it’s in regards to the neighborhood.”
The statewide Hawaii Chamber of Commerce instantly took word of the Kauai outcomes. “Dropping 40% of Kauai companies could be devastating not just for enterprise homeowners and the financial system — but in addition for Kauai residents who rely on the roles, items and providers these companies present,” mentioned Sherry Menor-McNamara, CEO of the group.
“Companies shouldn’t be put in a Catch-22 place the place they’re those selecting between public well being and their very own survival. The state authorities must create packages that may present stabilization funding to maintain the enterprise neighborhood throughout the state till it’s protected to reopen.”
Companies Throughout The Island Are Hurting
A variety of companies responded to the survey. Almost 60% reported having one to 10 workers, whereas 24 mentioned they’ve greater than 50. Unsurprisingly, 38.6% are headquartered within the central a part of the island in and round Lihue. Almost 30% are within the Koloa/Poipu-Kalaheo space on the tourist-intensive South Shore. Slightly below 20% are on the North Shore or east aspect and 11% are on the west aspect.
Almost 70.5% of enterprise homeowners and managers mentioned they agreed with the assertion that the 14-day quarantine “is important to safeguard the well being and security of Kauai residents no matter its impression on native companies” whereas 47.2% agreed that “social distancing and masks necessities are extra essential than my enterprise issues.” One other 42.7% agreed with the assertion: “Social distancing and masks necessities haven’t impacted my enterprise.”
A complete of 29.7% of companies reported that COVID had no impact on their operations, whereas 48.4% mentioned they’d reduce hours and staffing and 21.8% had closed quickly. No respondents reported they’d truly gone out of enterprise due to COVID.
The most important proportion of responses — a mixed complete 36.2% — got here from companies within the tourism, lodge and meals service and retail sectors. Actual estate-related companies accounted for 8.6% of responses whereas agriculture accounted for six.3% and nonprofits, 7%.
One of many respondents was the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, Kauai’s publicly owned electrical firm. Spokeswoman Beth Tokioka, who can also be a member of the Kauai Chamber of Commerce board, mentioned she was shocked on the survey outcomes.
“The outcomes of this survey blew me away. On the one hand, Kauai is a tight-knit neighborhood that pulls collectively throughout crises. That’s simply who we’re.” Tokioka mentioned. “But, so many companies are hanging on by a thread, frightened for his or her workers and undecided they’ll survive.”
That companies are nonetheless prioritizing well being and security above their very own enterprise, Tokioka mentioned, “speaks to how urgently we have to handle the limitations that stay to getting our folks again to work safely.”