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Tampa downtown employers adjusting, but not forever, survey finds

More than 40 percent of the employers that responded to a Tampa Downtown Partnership survey said they can only sustain their current level of service until the end of May.

TAMPA — Pandemic-driven shutdowns have had a high impact on 9 out of 10 downtown Tampa businesses, according to a new survey, and 40 percent of those polled say they cannot extend their current level of service past May unless something changes.

“The results show just how dire the situation is for some of our downtown businesses,” according to Lynda Remund, president and chief executive officer of the nonprofit Tampa Downtown Partnership, which conducted the survey.

Still, Remund said in a statement, the survey also shows how many employers have adapted by shifting their focus online. A physical fitness studio reported renting out 41 of its indoor cycling bikes and launching an on-demand streaming platform for yoga, toning and cycling classes. Others have moved to online sales or are providing online educational content for families.

The downtown partnership conducted the survey April 8-22. The 47 employers who responded said:

• 96 percent have experienced an immediate loss of operational income and revenue.

• 85 percent have canceled programs or services.

• 85 percent have applied or plan to apply for Paycheck Protection loans.

• More than half have changed their hours of operation.

• 32 percent can’t get supplies, and 23 percent have employees who can’t work because they must care for a child or other family member.

• 23 percent have employees working remotely.

Downtown Tampa was mostly quiet and subdued at dusk Tuesday, with few lights on in its towers. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]

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