Haas Center releases survey results on statewide economic impact of COVID-19

Press release provided by the University of West Florida
An economic impacts study by the Haas Center at the University of West Florida reveals an overwhelming percentage of Florida residents have postponed travel plans and reduced spending during the COVID-19 global pandemic. The UWF Haas Center conducted the survey to understand the types of travel and spending changes Florida residents have experienced since the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The survey was made accessible online in English and Spanish from March 16 through April 6 and responses from more than 3,000 Florida residents factored into the results.

“Originally, on March 10, we were planning on surveying local spring breakers on Pensacola Beach, thinking that many might be staying close to home as travel bans began across the U.S.,” said Nicole Gislason, interim assistant vice president at the UWF Haas Center. “But, when the UWF campus switched to remote instruction, remote research and administration, we knew we needed to upscale the survey by increasing the geographic scope.”

The results of this survey reveal three points:

  • 61% of Floridians have cancelled or postponed travel plans, and more than half of that group had more than one trip which was impacted.
  • 24% had already experienced some loss in wages due to the coronavirus, while another 18% expected income loss to be imminent at the time they completed the survey.
  • 90% of Floridians reported reduced spending across many different industry sectors, including restaurant, entertainment and retail shopping.

“These results provide important insight into the real-time economic impacts occurring across the state of Florida as everyone deals with the coronavirus pandemic,” said Amy Newburn, director of market research for the UWF Haas Center. “They provide stakeholders with an estimate of losses to taxable sales across parts of the economy, as well as insight into what types of workers are struggling with lost wages and hours.”

For more information about the UWF Haas Center and for access to the economic impacts study, visit haas.uwf.edu.