Survey shows 74% of participating Lake Houston-area businesses have fully reopened amid pandemic

The Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce and Lake Houston Area Economic Development Partnership sent out the Texas Business Survey on Aug. 27 to business owners and managers. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
The Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce and Lake Houston Area Economic Development Partnership sent out the Texas Business Survey on Aug. 27 to business owners and managers. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

The Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce and Lake Houston Area Economic Development Partnership sent out the Texas Business Survey on Aug. 27 to business owners and managers. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Survey results from 60-100 business owners in the Lake Houston area seem to show the area is wading the coronavirus pandemic better than some cities across the state, an expert said.

The Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce and Lake Houston Area Economic Development Partnership sent out the Texas Business Survey on Aug. 27 to business owners and managers. The survey was part of a partnership with Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and 16 other communities across the state.

Business owners and managers in six Lake Houston-area ZIP codes—77044, 77338, 77339, 77345, 77346 and 77396—were asked to complete the survey by Sept. 9. The survey results from 60-100 local businesses showed 74% of them have fully reopened, while 26% are still on reduced hours.

Jim Lee, survey lead and economics professor at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, said via email that although Lake Houston-area businesses saw an average of 27% revenue loss during the pandemic, the local business community has shown unexpected resilience compared to other areas that participated in the survey.

In fact, Lee said the area's high percentage of retail and hospitality jobs should have made the Lake Houston area more vulnerable to the pandemic, as the industries took large financial hits in April amid statewide and local stay-at-home orders.


"The inherent business makeup of the Lake Houston area, with relatively more businesses more directly impacted by the pandemic, should not make the area more resilient than other areas," he said. "In fact, the area should have been more vulnerable to the pandemic’s impact instead."

Instead, other factors may have helped businesses survive, Lee said. Loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration as well as many businesses owners reporting a positive outlook on the future may have contributed to the area's resilience, he said. Of the businesses that participated in the survey, 47% received SBA Paycheck Protection Program loans, and 28% received SBA Employment Injury Disaster Loans.

Despite the area's resilience, the survey showed that 19% of businesses anticipate a staff reduction in the next three months, while 16% anticipate a reduction in the next six months. The top concern moving forward is the potential for another COVID-19 outbreak, per survey results.

LHEDP President Mark Mitchell said the results will help the LHEDP and the chamber develop future programs to help build strength, much like the entities did after Hurricane Harvey hit in August 2017.

“The next step for us is to take this data and start using that same Harvey model and building that same resiliency infrastructure from there,” he said.
By Kelly Schafler

Managing editor, South Houston

Kelly joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in June 2017 after majoring in print journalism and creative writing at the University of Houston. In March 2019, she transitioned to editor for the Lake Houston-Humble-Kingwood edition and began covering the Spring and Klein area as well in August 2020. In June 2021, Kelly was promoted to South Houston managing editor.



MOST RECENT

Consuelo Mendez Middle School has consistently received poor ratings from the Texas Education Agency. (Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: State could take over AISD school board if poorly-rated campus does not improve; new furniture store to open in McKinney and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 3.

Julia De Leon, a Harris County Precinct 3 resident and essential worker, spoke Nov. 30 at commissioners court in favor of establishing the Harris County Essential Workers Board. (Emily Lincke/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County creates board for essential workers during ongoing pandemic

Local essential workers will now be given a voice to improve working conditions during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic after the Harris County Essential Workers Board was established during the Harris County Commissioners Court session Nov. 30.

Lone Star College-Kingwood offers a number of free and low-cost continuing education courses, including clinical medical assisting, medical billing and coding, dental assisting, bookkeeping, and phlebotomy. (Courtesy of Lone Star College-Kingwood)
Lone Star College-Kingwood set to offer free English for Speakers of Other Languages, GED certificate courses in January

The classes, which are being offered through the college’s continuing education program, will be held in person and online in both English and Spanish, officials said in a Dec. 1 news release.

Although it is still to be determined how much funding trickles down to Houston from the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden Nov. 15, city officials are looking to be prepared for when new competitive grant programs open up and start taking applications. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Here is what the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act could mean for Houston

Although it is still to be determined how much funding trickles down to Houston from the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden Nov. 15, city officials are looking to be prepared for when new competitive grant programs open up and start taking applications.

The school board will consider whether to call a special election to fill the vacancy or make an appointment. (Zara Flores/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Hays CISD to hold special meeting on resignation of board member; Montgomery approves plan for downtown and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 2.

The beauty company specializes in eyelash extensions and strives to provide a beauty experience that amplifies the clients' natural beauty in a friendly, luxurious environment. (Courtesy Deka Lash)
Deka Lash coming soon to Generation Park

Michael and Tegan Mead plan to open a new franchise location of Deka Lash in February at 12230 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Ste. 180, Houston.

Zoo Lights is a light show within the Houston Zoo that happens every year. (Courtesy Houston Zoo Lights)
10 holiday light displays to see in the Greater Houston area

Check out these nine free and ticketed displays to see through December and January in the Houston area.

HomeGoods will be opening a new location in Valley Ranch Town Center in New Caney. (Courtesy HomeGoods)
HomeGoods coming soon to Valley Ranch Town Center in New Caney

HomeGoods has been added to the growing list of stores coming soon to New Caney’s Valley Ranch Town Center, according to the East Montgomery County Improvement District.

Chipotle Mexican Grill will celebrate its one-year anniversary at Valley Ranch Town Center in New Caney on Dec. 9. (Courtesy Chipotle Mexican Grill)
Chipotle Mexican Grill set to celebrate 1-year anniversary in New Caney

Chipotle Mexican Grill will celebrate its one-year anniversary at Valley Ranch Town Center in New Caney on Dec. 9.

Tomball City Council approved a development agreement with Lovett Industrial for 240 acres at Hwy. 249, Rocky Road Nov. 29. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Tomball City Council approves development of 240 acres at Hwy. 249, Rocky Road; JLB Eatery coming soon to Katy and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 1.