Rauch Foundation seeking input from business owners affected by COVID-19

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The Rauch Foundation released a new survey today to better understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Long Island’s business and downtown districts, as well as to inform recommendations on how to speed recovery.  The survey aims to gather insight directly from business owners and is available online in both English and Spanish. 

Business Owners may access the survey in English and Spanish here:

https://www.research.net/r/lidowntown

“It’s easy to guess what the impact of the pandemic might be on local small businesses – but until we hear from the business owners themselves, we can’t really know for sure,” said Nancy Rauch Douzinas, President, Rauch Foundation. “As the region defines how to move forward, it’s important that our business community is included in the recovery process and that their experiences and hardships are taken into consideration.”

The Rauch Foundation is distributing the survey through some of its regional platforms, as well as hiring canvassers to walk a cross section of downtowns and speak with store owners.  The survey takes between 5-10 minutes to complete and will be available through November 30, 2020.  It includes questions about how stores were managing the changing retail environment prior to COVID, how the pandemic impacted their bottom line and what types of remedies and solutions owners would embrace to make their businesses more sustainable going forward.

“There have been other surveys of business owners since the pandemic but this is the first one exclusively focused on our village communities – the heart of our region,” said Kevin Law, President of the Long Island Association. “I strongly encourage local businesses to reply to the survey so we might better plan appropriate responses to current conditions.”

The Long Island Regional Economic Development Council, co-chaired by Law, has been overseeing the Downtown Revitalization Initiative grants. Dave Kapell, consultant to Rauch, who has been working with Law on these downtown efforts added, “As the revitalization efforts gather steam, we need to be sure we are understanding how to adapt to the challenges created by the pandemic and to seize opportunities for innovation that it has presented. Some changes and ideas may be short-term but many will be longer-term in their impact and we need the feedback from the store owners to help assess the best strategies.” 

Prior to 2019, the Long Island Index was published by the Rauch Foundation for 15 years. That report consistently studied downtown communities, along with what made them thrive and what types of investments were effective in catalyzing future growth.  The Foundation aims to put that experience back in play to help the Long Island community navigate today’s circumstances and tomorrow’s solutions with a full report and analysis of the survey results expected in early 2021. 

Business Owners may access the survey in English and Spanish here:

https://www.research.net/r/lidowntown

About the Rauch Foundation:

The Rauch Foundation (www.rauchfoundation.org) is a Long Island-based family foundation that invests in ideas and organizations that spark and sustain early success in children and systemic change in our communities. The Foundation was established in 1961 by Louis Rauch and Philip Rauch, Jr. Funding for the Foundation was made possible by the success of the Ideal Corporation, an auto parts manufacturer founded in 1913 by their father, Philip Rauch, Sr.

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