Valley council seeks business input for regional survey

HARLINGEN — The Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council is working to capture the moment with a survey of regional businesses and the challenges they face in reestablishing themselves post-COVID-19.

The online Business Impact Survey can be accessed via the LRGVDC’s Facebook page. It consists of questions concerning the longevity of the business, the number of employees, a general wage structure and just how the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent shutdowns have impacted the business.

“ We’re trying to capture the loss of revenue and the employees who are being let go or furloughed,” said Blanca Davila, director of community and economic development for the Weslaco-based council.

“ It’s really just to quantify those activities because as you know the CARES Act came out and there was another cycle of funding that was released for different federal and state entities that would trickle down into our communities, our local cities and counties,” she added. “Some have already been deployed and others are still pending but our thinking was OK, we can definitely launch a regional survey to try to capture the different business components and the impact that COVID-19 is having currently in our community, so when those funding opportunities are presented to us, we have some data to back that up.”

The end game, Davila said, is to have some data to present when grant monies and other funding for Valley businesses and communities become available down the line.

“ We’ll share that information with our cities and our counties so they can have that overview,” Davila said. “We’ve already launched the first one and it’s open right now and once it closes we’ll review it and consolidate all the information. But the idea is to follow up again potentially during the summer of 2020 just to see how things are going as the economy reopens.”

The deadline for completing the survey, which is free, is May 15. A Spanish-language version of the Business Impact Survey should be available online in a few weeks.

The link for the business survey can be found on the LRGVDC’s Facebook page or here: