CIRAS Survey FINAL UPDATE: Employee Well-Being Led COVID Concerns

September 18, 2020 — (Final Update) As COVID-19 proliferates across our nation, the crisis continues to negatively impact our economy and spark concerns for the future of small and medium-sized businesses. Over several months, CIRAS conducted a phone survey so we could better understand the needs of Iowa companies and better connect them to appropriate resources.
Here is what we learned during 23 weeks of survey:
Top takeaways from the survey
  • The proportion of businesses operating at reduced capacity peaked at the beginning of June and has generally improved since then. The reported supply concerns also began to ease at that point, indicating that June was the tipping point where industrial recovery began.
  • Employee well-being remained the top concern throughout the survey, along with worries about revenue loss and workforce stability. This came amid reduced demand and a negative outlook for 2020.
  • Cash flow never became a major concern among survey respondents.
  • Businesses initially sought assistance with COVID-containment topics. Requests later migrated to business stabilization services such as restoring lost revenue and finding alternate customers.


Additional facts and observations

  • Survey Facts-
    • A total of 444 distinct manufacturers and 157 distinct nonmanufacturing businesses were surveyed during the survey period (March – August 2020).
    • Majority of the responses (approx. 65 percent) during the survey were from companies with fewer than 100 employees.
  • Observation- Analysis of the concern categories by business types revealed employee well-being was a top concern among manufacturing businesses. For nonmanufacturers, revenue loss was an equal or greater concern for most of the survey period.


CIRAS Helpline

If your business is impacted by COVID-19, CIRAS can provide no-cost assistance to help you understand your next steps. CIRAS has set up teams to help companies with HR, supply chain, safety, and other challenges

For help contact our or Shankar Srinivasan (515-290-6702,