Survey shows Tampa’s Downtown businesses rethinking how they operate in a COVID-19 world

40% shift to virtual and online operations


TAMPA, Fla.  – More than 90% of Downtown Tampa businesses say COVID-19 has had a “high” impact on their finances, workforce and overall operations according to a survey (attached) conducted by the Tampa Downtown Partnership.  More than 40% of the business owners who responded also said they can only sustain their current level of service until the end of May.


“I think the results show just how dire the situation is for some of our Downtown businesses, but it also underscores how many operators are adapting by redirecting resources and efforts to online sales,” said Tampa Downtown Partnership President and CEO, Lynda Remund.


In fact, more than 40% of respondents say they have been shifting to virtual or online operations. “This is the first time we’ve done local delivery and we will continue to do this in the future,” one owner wrote. “We had always thought about offering this service to the community and now we see how easy it’s been. Kind of a blessing behind the scenes!”


Others say they are now offering online art sales, streaming movies, and providing online educational content for kids and families. A physical fitness business said it rented out 41 of their indoor cycling bikes and launched an on-demand streaming platform for yoga, toning, and cycling classes. One business owner said he was even taking the opportunity to remodel.


Among other survey findings:

  • 96% say they have experienced an immediate loss of operational income and revenue
  • 85% have been forced to cancel programs and/or services
  • 85% say they have or will apply for help through the Paycheck Protection Program
  • More than 50% of the respondents have changed their hours of operation
  • 32% are unable to obtain supplies and materials
  • 23% have employees who are unavailable to work due to lack of child care or due to care for a family member
  • 23% have employees working remotely

The Tampa Downtown Partnership survey of its members was taken between April 8-22. Nearly 50 Downtown businesses responded.