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Southold surveying small businesses about challenges they've faced

Southold Town Hall in Southold is shown on

Southold Town Hall in Southold is shown on March 20, 2021. Credit: Randee Daddona

A new Southold survey will focus on asking local businesses about the challenges they have encountered in 2020 and 2021, as well as what town officials can do to help them.

The town’s Economic Development Committee is taking the survey, which is available at www.southoldtownny.gov, the town’s official website.

Committee chairman John E. Malley told Newsday that the goal of the survey is to get an up-to-date picture of local businesses and identify their current challenges.

The survey results will be presented to the Southold Town Board.

"Depending on what the issue is, we could talk to the board and see if there could be resolutions or whatever is necessary to help those businesses," Malley said.

The survey asks several questions, including:

• How many employees there are, both part-time and seasonal.

• Whether sales have increased, decreased or remained the same.

• Whether the business received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds, grants or other public sector funds.

• Challenges they foresee in 2021 and what type of support the town offer.

The committee plans to offer the survey for at least two months, Malley said.

"If we can get a reasonable percentage to participate, that would be great," Malley said.

To get the word out, Malley said the committee has asked local chambers of commerce and civic associations to publish the link to the survey for their members to see, along with placing ads in local media.

Town Supervisor Scott Russell said he expects the survey will give town officials a stronger indication of where local businesses are one year after the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It’s a unique circumstance [trying to stay in business] during a pandemic, and we’re going to see which industries came out OK, which didn’t and what kind of help can we give," Russell said.

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