Chamber & GEDC survey local businesses on impact of COVID-19

A recent survey conducted by the Grundy County Chamber of Commerce and the Grundy Economic Development Council yielded positive news from the business community. More than 70% of the respondents indicated they were “very confident” their business would survive the recent hardships caused by the pandemic.

“The Grundy County business community has once again demonstrated its determination, resilience and inventive spirit to make it through a very difficult time in our community's economy,” said Nancy Norton, GEDC president & CEO. “But local business also sent a strong message to the community, they need you and your support.”

The COVID-19 impact was felt by nearly 75% of the businesses surveyed with corresponding impacts to employees. The widespread nature is reflective in the current Grundy County May unemployment rate of 13.8%. Although a staggering number, the good news is that in the coming months, 14% plan to increase staffing while only 8% anticipate furloughing or laying off employees, Norton said. The business community is, however, concerned about trying to get employees back to work. Nearly 20% of companies mentioned the challenges of bringing staff back to the work place.

“Almost everyone agrees with the concept of shop local, but now more than ever, it cannot just be a slogan,” said Christina Van Yperen, Grundy County Chamber president & CEO. “Purchases as simple as reams of paper or bottled water bought locally go a long way. We ask all businesses, organizations and municipalities to really consider how they can change their supply chain to local.”

Nearly 40% of surveyed businesses lost more than 25% of revenue, with a few as high as 75%. A great majority of the businesses have reopened and now they need customers, need revenue, and need the community.

What can business do?
“Evaluate what you are buying for your place of business and think about what can be purchased locally,” Van Yperen said. Perhaps it is copy paper, printing, catering or a host of other activities that you can purchase in your local community.

Government entities like schools, municipalities, and Grundy County can also play an active role in supporting local businesses with similar purchases, Norton said.

Lastly, despite the convenience of buying online, community residents need to make an extra effort to shop local stores to help in the recovery. We can all help during this difficult time in our communities.

For more information on COVID-19 resources visit or For the latest Grundy County COVID-19 data visit