Editor’s note: The following is part of Startland News’ ongoing coverage of the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Kansas City’s entrepreneur community, as well as how innovation is helping to drive a new normal in the ecosystem. Click here to follow related stories as they develop.
Early feedback from Kansas City’s small business owners tells a story of entrepreneurs racked with worry as COVID-19 precautions put ventures across the city in peril, according to a new KCSourceLink report.
“As the coronavirus pandemic causes shutdowns, disruptions and alters daily life, Kansas City entrepreneurs, who are massive job creators for the region, need assistance and are looking for guidance,” KCSourceLink said in a blog post announcing preliminary results from a March survey of business owners in the metro.
Among the KCSourceLink findings: 70 percent of respondents need financial assistance; 53 percent are seeking tax relief; 63 percent are worried about revenue dropping; and 18 percent are concerned they might have to close.
“The responses here will help Kansas City’s entrepreneur community unite under one voice to work with key decision-makers, officials and policy makers in the region to support small businesses under these challenging circumstances,” KCSourceLink said in the blog post.
Among the resources already offered via KCSourceLink’s online resources page: information about how business owners can create an emergency plan, access disaster loans and other funding, request financial assistance, and manage remote teams.
Click here to check out KCSourceLink’s new dedicated COVID-19 funding and financing strategies page.
“We created an intake form that folks can use to be matched to the right financial assistance,” said Sarah Mote, marketing director for KCSourceLink, noting a link at the top right of the COVID-19 financing page. “The funding right now is so confusing and changing so fast, we wanted to give entrepreneurs and small business owners a place where they could say who they are and what they need and get matched to what’s active.”
KCSourceLink highlighted other specific comments from the survey, noting some respondents:
- Feel an immense pressure to adapt quickly;
- Face challenges related to cashflow dependant on day-to-day client traffic, with no reserves;
- Must find alternate work during the COVID-19 shutdown, leaving them unable to continue working on their business and making it more difficult to restart operations when the crisis comes to a close;
- Fear former clients won’t be able to resume the customer relationship when COVID-19 dissipates;
- Need a capital infusion to avoid closing.
“We adjusted our food service offering to delivery/pick-up/to-go only and this week had to close up completely,” read one common refrain from respondents, according to the survey results.
KCSourceLink is among the organizations participating Friday in virtual conversation and Q&A — “From the Front Lines of Small Business Relief in KC” — organized by STARTLAND, the parent organization of Startland News. The noon event is expected to also feature representatives from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, AltCap and the Small Business Development Center at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Click here to register for Friday’s virtual event.