COVID-19 still a concern, survey finds

Yukon’s residents and businesses alike say they are still concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on their health and the economy, a recent survey found.
The survey was conducted June 3-18 by Yukon’s 66 Main Street Program and is the first of two surveys being conducted by the organization.
The second survey focuses on economic viability.
The first survey focused on consumer confidence related to the the pandemic.
According to the survey results, more than 40 percent of respondents said they planned to wait a few months before returning to restaurants.
At the time of the survey, about 50 percent said they had returned to restaurants as soon as it was
feasible.
Of the remaining participants, 7 percent said they would wait at least three weeks, while 22 percent said they would delay up to two weeks before going to a restaurant.
Thirty three percent said they had no concerns about COVID-19, the survey found.
About 37 percent of those who responded said they had used curbside services and would continue to do so. However, 27 percent said they would use the service less often than during the COVID closures.
Meanwhile, the survey also found that many people were planning to wait about returning to retailers unless it was for essential purchases.
According to the survey, 40 percent of shoppers who had not returned to retailers said they planned to continue to wait at least another month, while 28 percent said they would wait until there is a vaccine or COVID-19 is no longer a threat.
Many of those are using online shopping to make purchases.
Of those, 54 percent said they would shop local if an online option were available.
Participants also overwhelmingly said that both employees and customers should wear masks properly; businesses should be clean and should welcome customers.
In addition, a social media presence is important, as is offering curbside services.
One respondent put it simple: “I love shopping local and supporting local, but (I’m) not willing to risk my health or my family’s health.”
Main Street director Vicki Davis said most results were not overly surprising, though some were.
Davis said that beginning in May and June, many local businesses saw an increase in sales, despite the pandemic.
She said much of that was based on small businesses, rather than big box stores, as is normal.
Many downtown businesses said they saw increases in revenue over the previous year.
The results of the second survey, which was just completed in the past few weeks, are still being tabulated.
Davis said the results thus far show that many businesses could face closure within six months if the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reduce the customer base.
Those results are expected to be released in the near future, she said.

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