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A 17-month COVID-19 economic impact survey conducted by the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s Center for Customized Research and Services (CCRS) collected feedback from 3,500 Wisconsin business leaders to help shape policies and strategies to assist in recovering from the pandemic.

The research showed an average income loss of more than $150,000 reported by 138 businesses that completed the full study.

New North President Barb LaMue said the research project—a partnership between UW Oshkosh, the state’s nine Regional Development Organizations and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation—helped determine the types of resources that businesses required to navigate the pandemic.

“We are proud of the work we have done over the past year and a half and look forward to continuing our work analyzing the state’s economy through a new project that will be launching over the next several months,” said Jeff Sachse, CCRS director.

Responses to the August survey totaled 208, representing more than 8,600 Wisconsin employees.

“The firms reported $1.5 million in wage and productivity gains, suggesting that companies are increasing wages to be more competitive for employees,” Sachse said.

On the other hand, he said the responding businesses reported the following losses:

  • $2.4 million in inventory, suggesting continued parts and supply shortages.
  • $1.5 million in income, reversing the summer’s trend of modest growth and reflecting growing concerns about the Delta variant.
  • $277,000 in other financial losses, suggesting continued economic uncertainty this fall.

The full study is available online.