The Impact of COVID-19 on Communities and the Entities Serving Them

In April, the Federal Reserve conducted a survey to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on under resourced and low-income communities. A new report, Perspectives from Main Street: The Impact of COVID-19 on Communities and the Entities Serving Them, presents the findings from the survey.

Of the 3,899 responses, 69 percent indicated COVID-19 was a significant disruption to the economic conditions of the communities they serve and that recovery is expected to be difficult.

At this point in time, what level of disruption is COVID-19 having on economic conditions in the communities you serve?

Percent of Total Responses (N=3,899)
Level of Disruption Percent of Total Responses (N=3,899)
No Disruption 0
Minimal Disruption 0
Some Disruption 7
Significant Disruption / Quick Recovery 22
Significant Disruption / Difficult Recovery 69
Unknown 2

Additional key findings include:

  • Income loss, business impacts, health concerns, and basic consumer needs were the most frequently cited impacts of COVID-19.
  • Over one-third of respondents (35%) indicated it will take more than 12 months for their communities to return to the conditions prior to the disruption from COVID-19.
  • 72% of respondents indicated COVID-19 is having a significant disruption on the entity they represent, with 41% expecting to bounce back quickly after recovery begins.
  • Nearly 2 out of 3 respondents (66%) indicated demand for their services has increased or is anticipated to increase, and more than half of the respondents (55%) noted a corresponding decrease or anticipated decrease in their ability to provide services.
  • A quarter of respondents (25%) indicated their entity could operate for less than three months in the current environment before exhibiting financial distress.

As we work to collectively address the challenges resulting from COVID-19, it will be important to continue listening to the needs of low-income communities and the organizations that serve them.

For more findings from the survey, read Perspectives from Main Street: The Impact of COVID-19 on Communities and the Entities Serving Them.

The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco or of the Federal Reserve System.