Ventura County’s Economic Development Collaborative, or EDC, in partnership with the California Small Business Development Center has conducted a statewide survey on COVID-19’s impact on California entrepreneurs.

According to the survey, titled “Small Business in the Time of Covid-19: A Survey of California’s Small Businesses,” most of the businesses in the region have proved resilient.


“In the face of a multi-layered civil, economic and environmental disruption, the rates of innovation and adaptation were extraordinary across the state of California,” said Ventura County EDC Chief Executive Bruce Stenslie in a statement.


The data is based on some 22,102 respondents in California SBDC’s database, who were asked about their business activities between January and July of last year.


Among the survey’s findings: More than 55 percent of businesses were able to successfully adapt how they service customers while 40 percent pioneered new products, services and processes. Some 12 percent of the businesses polled invested in upskilling their workers despite the unprecedented challenges presented by the coronavirus crisis.


The industrial sector most impacted by the initial impact of the virus was entertainment, while finance was the least affected.


According to the two organizations, businesses which connected with the SBDC directly demonstrated a greater speed and capacity of recovery. Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis last March, California’s SBDC has counseled more than 44,000 small business clients during 172,000 hours, supporting more than $1.27 billion dollars in small business funding and has helped 938 entrepreneurs establish new startups.


The joint report was authored by Lokesh Dani of research firm Xopolis; John Earle of the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University; IZA - Institute of Labor Economics; and Kynug Min Lee of World Bank and George Mason University.