The Greater Atlantic County Chamber of Commerce is conducting a second survey on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on local businesses.

A year ago, the Atlantic County Economic Alliance and The Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce collaborated on an Atlantic County business impact survey. Now it is conducting a follow-up survey to gauge the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on local businesses.

The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, Brigantine Chamber of Commerce, Somers Point Business Association, Mays Landing Merchant Association, Margate Business Association, Atlantic City Metropolitan Business and Citizens Association and the Greater Hammonton Chamber of Commerce are supporting this initiative.
A year after the COVID-19 pandemic claimed the lives of more than 552,000 Americans and closed many small businesses, more than 16% of citizens have been vaccinated and there are trillions of dollars available for economic relief.

The first survey was conducted one month after NJ Gov. Phil Murphy announced a statewide stay-at-home order and closure of all non-essential retail businesses. More than 600 businesses, from 30 different industries participated in the 2020 survey. The survey found that:

  • 89% of businesses surveyed have been negatively impacted by the pandemic;
  • 57% of respondents have less than nine employees;
  • More than 70% of respondents expressed that lost sales and income—and negative cash flow because of delayed sales—are significant threats to continuing daily operations during the next three months;
  • More than 49% of respondents stated they have less than four weeks of current cash flow to sustain the current pandemic;
  • 25% have already exhausted their cash on hand;
  • 59% of respondents have already made staffing adjustments (either by layoffs or reduction of hours) in response to the negative impacts of COVID-19;
  • 38% of respondents expressed that payroll is their most critical expense, followed by operating expenses;
  • 74% of businesses applied for economic relief, which includes but not limited to Payroll Protection Program, EDIL loans, NJEDA grants and loans. Only 41% were approved for some form of aid. 80% of those businesses have started to receive funding from those sources.
The results of this second survey will reflect the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the Atlantic County business community since then.  The results will help guide the county’s advocacy efforts on behalf of the business community.
“The data we collected from the 2020 survey was shared with local, state, and federal officials and helped our advocacy efforts to address the evolving needs of the business community.” Greater Atlantic City Chamber President Michael Chait said. “We seek to further understand the changes businesses have implemented over the past year, evaluate how economic recovery resources have helped keep their doors open, and challenges they are currently facing,”
The survey does not require any personal information. It will be available until May 7.
Local business owners are encouraged to take the 6-minute survey posted here:

Full survey results will be released at a later date. For more information, contact the Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce at 609-345-4524 or via email at


Categories: Downbeach

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.