Surprising Results from Initial Small Business Survey - What WeHo Small Business Owners are Facing..
WeHo Small Business Coalition Survey Report - Initial Results
Survey Overview Since June 15th, 2023, The WeHo Small Business Coalition has been conducting an incremental door-to-door canvassing survey to gather insights into the challenges faced by small businesses in West Hollywood. The survey aimed to meet face-to-face with business owners and collect data on awareness and impact of recent regulations, business issues, and sentiments regarding the future of small businesses in the community.
This report provides an overview of the initial results, highlighting responses to the first component of the survey, business issues, and the potential impact on jobs within the small business community.
Component 1: Impact of July 1 Regulations & Overall Business Challenges
Awareness of Regulations: Among the respondents, 65.2% stated that they were unaware of the July 1 regulations regarding minimum wage changes. This indicates a significant lack of awareness or surprise among small business owners about these changes.
Impact on Businesses: Regarding the impact of the July 1 regulations, 80.4% of the respondents agreed that their businesses would be affected. This highlights the widespread concern and anticipated challenges faced by small business owners as a result of the regulatory changes.
Facing Serious Challenges: When asked about the overall challenges their businesses are facing in West Hollywood, 65.2% of the respondents agreed that they are experiencing serious challenges. This underscores the significant difficulties and obstacles that small businesses are encountering in the current business climate.
Forced to Make Changes: In terms of anticipated changes to their businesses, 56.5% of the respondents strongly agreed that they would soon be forced to make major changes. Respondents told us that this ranged from laying off employees to moving out of West Hollywood to shutting down completely.
Component 2: Business Issues
The second part of the survey provided three write-in prompt boxes and focused on identifying the specific business issues faced by small businesses in West Hollywood. The respondents provided valuable insights on the top three issues affecting their businesses, and have been summarized as:
Labor Costs and Minimum Wage: Labor costs and the recent minimum wage changes were identified as the top business issue, with 60.9% of respondents expressing concerns in this area.
Homelessness and Shopping Experience: Another significant challenge identified by small business owners in our survey was the issue of homelessness and its impact on the shopping experience. Many respondents expressed concerns about the increasing presence of homelessness in the area, which affects foot traffic and customer engagement. They highlighted the need for collaborative efforts between local government, community organizations, and businesses to address this issue and create a safer and more inviting shopping environment for both residents and visitors.
Costs and General Business Climate: The overall business climate, encompassing factors involving costs such as skyrocketing rents and high taxes, along with the impact of perceived safety, combined with lack of support from the city, was a concern for 52.2% of the respondents.
Jobs Being Lost & At Risk: Based on the number of employees reported by the responding businesses (323 in total), the potential jobs at risk are significant. Additionally, business owners disclosed specific job losses as a result of the July 1st regulations. As of now, based solely on the limited number of businesses that we got surveys back from, seven employee positions have been cut across different businesses. Moreover, one immigrant-owned business with 20 employees, operating for over 35 years in WeHo informed us of their decision to close within the next two weeks, resulting in further job losses and more vacant storefronts. Furthermore, two responding businesses are planning to terminate their leases and leave West Hollywood, resulting in an additional five lost jobs. As we continue canvassing, we believe we'll unearth more lost jobs, especially as we have only conducted about 50% of the surveys from July 1st to July 15th.
Survey Reach and Future Goals The WeHo Small Business Coalition has made significant efforts to gather data from small business owners in West Hollywood. To date, we have contacted over 75 businesses and collected surveys from 46 respondents. Our aim is to attain a total of 300 surveys within the next 60 days, ensuring a robust representation of the small business community in West Hollywood. By expanding our outreach and engaging additional volunteers and staff, we will continue our canvassing efforts to gather more data and provide comprehensive insights into the challenges faced by small businesses.
Next Steps The WeHo Small Business Coalition acknowledges the valuable insights provided by the respondents and is committed to utilizing this data to drive impactful initiatives. As we continue our canvassing efforts and reach our target of 300 surveys, we will analyze and assess the collected data in greater detail. This comprehensive approach will enable us to develop targeted strategies, advocate for the needs of small business owners, and work towards fostering a supportive and thriving business environment in West Hollywood.
Conclusion The initial survey results provide a snapshot of the challenges faced by small businesses in West Hollywood. The high percentage of respondents expressing concerns about the impact of July 1 regulations, the serious challenges faced by their businesses, and the potential job losses emphasize the urgent need to support and protect the small business community. Data is a powerful tool, and The WeHo Small Business Coalition remains dedicated to uniting the community and advocating for small business owners, engaging stakeholders, and driving collaborative efforts to address the identified issues and create a favorable business climate for the prosperity of West Hollywood's small businesses. Please be sure to check back for updates, and, if you haven't already, consider volunteering to canvas and/or joining us and becoming a supporting member of the coalition. We're all in this together, and together we can make a greater impact! For more information call 323-310-WEHO or e-mail email@example.com