The Santa Maria Valley Chamber’s Business Impact Survey for August showed the local business community continues to face challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“What we saw from this month’s results was somewhat to be expected,” said Glenn Morris, chamber president/CEO. “Our local businesses continued to experience a decrease in revenue this past month, with many saying their top needs are cash flow and penalty-free extensions on payments like rent and utilities.”

The chamber’s August survey show 68% of business respondents reported a decrease in revenue of 25% or more, up from the 53% of businesses that said they saw this decrease in revenue in July. The percentage of businesses seeing a more drastic decrease in revenue of 75% or more remained steady at 22%.

With these types of hits to their revenue streams, it was no surprise that cash flow remained the top need for businesses, with 39% saying this was their most pressing current need (up 3% from July).

Another major need for businesses is penalty-free extensions on payments including rent, utilities and inventory.

“Though we see our business community continue to face challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is reassuring to see the degree of optimism they continue to demonstrate,” Morris said.

Fifty percent responded that their businesses are doing OK and they expect improved results in the next six months. Though optimistic, businesses remain cautious, with 70% saying they are unsure about the overall economic future of our region.

“While there is a lot of uncertainty around what the future holds for our community, we are committed to helping our local businesses through this challenging time, so that we come out more resilient as a community and build a stronger future for the Santa Maria Valley,” Morris said.

Tje more input the chamber can get from local businesses, the better the organization can allocate their resources to best fit the needs of the community, Morris said.

“Our business impact survey is really important because it helps us determine where to spend our time and resources,” he explained. “We know that over time, the needs of our businesses will continue to change.

“Being able to track those changes through our Business Impact Survey assures our organization remains at the forefront of meeting the needs of local businesses.”

The chamber sends out its Business Impact Survey monthly to the local business community. To fill out the September survey, go to Spanish language version is at

To be added to the mailing list to receive the September survey, email

If your business is in need of assistance, complete the Business Assistance Form and someone from the chamber will contact you.