Fort Worth officials detail impact of coronavirus on local businesses

The spread of the coronavirus continues to impact Fort Worth and area businesses. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
The spread of the coronavirus continues to impact Fort Worth and area businesses. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

The spread of the coronavirus continues to impact Fort Worth and area businesses. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Fort Worth city officials discussed various impacts the spread of the novel coronavirus is having on local businesses during a Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce Town Hall on March 25.

According to officials, a recently conducted coronavirus business impact survey received more than 1,200 responses. The majority of businesses responding reported that their revenue has decreased by more than 80%, said Robert Sturns, city of Fort Worth Economic Development Director.

The biggest challenges, he said, especially for small businesses with fewer than 25 employees, are finding operating capital and making rent or mortgage payments.

“The one thing that small businesses are really being impacted by is access to capital,” Sturns said. “A lot of small businesses do not have the wherewithal to operate more than 30 days without income coming in.”

As of March 25, the city of Fort Worth and Atmos Energy have suspended disconnections for commercial customers, Sturns said.

The state is also offering a sales tax relief option, and Mayor Betsy Price’s economic task force will meet this week with small businesses, service providers and others to set forth a comprehensive policy and a set of recommendations at the local level, he said.

“We are trying to get information out to business owners as quickly as we can,” Sturns said.

Despite a stay-at-home order that will remain in effect until April 3, Fort Worth residents currently face no travel restrictions, according to city official Andria Ellis. Residents are still able to shop at grocery stores, hardware stores and other essential retailers, she said.

“What we are really trying to do is make people stay at home, but if you are running out of essentials, go to the store,” Ellis said.
By Ian Pribanic
Ian Pribanic covers city government, transportation, business and education news for Community Impact Newspaper in the Keller-Roanoke-Northeast Fort Worth areas. A Washington D.C. native and University of North Texas graduate, Ian was previously an editor for papers in Oklahoma, West Texas and for Community Impact in New Braunfels.


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