Chesterton Tribune



Indiana Chamber survey: Vaccine success vital to economic recovery

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The Indiana Chamber of Commerce was reporting today that business leaders in the state view COVID-19 vaccines “as a primary ingredient in the state’s economic recovery,” according to an informal Chamber survey.

The online survey was conducted Dec. 3-10 and generated 845 responses from Chamber members and investors.

Asked about the importance of widespread vaccine implementation to the state’s economic recovery from the pandemic, the average response was 8.21 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most important. “In addition, 61 percent expect to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations for their employees, while 28 percent are not sure,” the Chamber said. “Only 11 percent of respondents say they won’t encourage employees to get the vaccine.”

Potential on-site vaccinations for employees delivered a mixed response: 23 percent yes; 39 percent no; and 38 percent uncertain, with many citing the need for additional information.

“The tremendous efforts to bring these highly effective vaccines to market so quickly will be mitigated if the majority of Hoosiers are not vaccinated,” said Kevin Brinegar, president and CEO of the Indiana Chamber. “It is promising to see so many business leaders willing to support and encourage vaccines. Our ultimate business revival is dependent on this next step. Our economy will not be able to resume its full operations until the coronavirus is under control.”

Business Outlook

Meanwhile, in projecting the 2021 outlook for Indiana business, respondents were more optimistic than not: 47 percent indicated a return to “near normal” operations, while only 28 percent projected continuing reduced levels. In addition. 20 percent expect similar growth in 2021 compared to recent years, with 6 percent fearing potential closure without economic recovery.

"When first asked in late June about long-term ramifications of the pandemic, 62 percent cited changing their business model to adapt to a new reality,” the Chamber said. “That same question yielded a 56-percent response in December.”

“Remove workforces are a new reality for many,” the Chamber noted. “Forty-three percent indicated that all or some employees would continue to work remotely in at least a portion of the coming year. On the productivity of remote workers through 2020, 51 percent said they were less productive (36 percent of that total in the ‘slightly less productive’ category); 12 percent said more productive; and 37 percent said no change.”

Brinegar said that the Chamber will be leading advocacy efforts during the Indiana General Assembly session to look at incentives to attract individual talent, including remote workers, to the state. “This is all part of a fierce battle for talent. We simply need more highly qualified people in the workforce. Bringing them to our state to take advantage of our low cost of living and high quality of life no matter where they work initially will be a first step to having them both live and work in Indiana.”

Additional survey findings:

-- Economic impact to your business in 2020, on a scale of 1 to 10: 6.5. This matches the June response and is below the 7.2 percent in April.

-- Specific business impacts in 2020: revenue loss, 71 percent; cash flow issues, 35 percent; suspended operations at least temporarily, 34 percent; employee layoffs, 29 percent; no/minimal impact, 16 percent; added employees, 13 percent.

-- Seventy-two percent of respondents (split evenly between “very important” and “somewhat important") identify a new federal economic stimulus/relief package as crucial.

More than 50 percent of respondents have fewer than 50 employees. A broad cross-section of industries was represented, with 24 in manufacturing and 17 percent in professional services.



Posted 12/16/2020




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