SARATOGA SPRINGS — Cornell Cooperative Extension Equine (CCE Equine) and The New York State Horse Council (NYSHC) partnered in mid-March 2020 to create a Covid-19 impact assessment survey for equine-related business owners and managers in New York State. This survey was released in April 2020 with the objective to better understand the perceived economic impact COVID-19 had on New York State Equine- related businesses.
The target population was businesses, owners or managers of equine-related business in New York State. This included feed suppliers, veterinarians, horse lesson or training facilities, breeding facilities, transportation services and more. The survey had over 500 respondents that indicated owning a business that serves NYS. The majority of respondents indicated their business and being either a lesson or training facility or a boarding facility.
Business owners and managers were asked to report their annual gross revenue for a typical year; the 70-percent of respondents indicated their annual gross income as being less than $100,000. Respondents also indicated if their business was considered essential under the Pause Plan. Sixty-three respondents (13-percent) reported that their entire business was considered essential while 202 respondents (43-percent) reported parts of their business as being considered essential.
The questions “How Severe do you expect the effects of COVID-19 to be on your Business?” One hundred fifty respondents (33-percent) reported the effects of COVID-19 to be Extremely Severe, one hundred thirty-eight (29-percent) indicated Very Severe. Sixty-six respondents (10-percent) indicated the effects of COVID-19 to be either slightly severe or not severe at all. There were 231 respondents (49-percent) that indicated they would be somewhat likely or extremely likely to make temporary or permanent reduction to staff due to COVID-19.
The purpose of this survey was to provide an opportunity for Equine-related businesses owners and managers to report the perceived impact COVID-19 had on their business. It is clear that there is perceived financial distress. Over 30-percent of respondents indicated concern of losing their business while over another 30-percent of respondents indicated they were unsure if they would lose their business due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Despite the reported struggle equine-related businesses are encountering, 73-percent indicated not receiving any financial benefit for programs, loans, or tax credits to offset losses. Respondents reported “applied for funding but haven’t heard back” and “applied for ppp but haven’t received any monies as of yet;” thirty-seven percent of respondents reported needing financial assistance to keep daily activities of their business going. This survey provides insight to the equine industry and the economic distress that is occurring.
One respondent wrote that the crisis was “crippling any source of income, but we continue to have all of our normal expenses as horses continue to be fed and cared for which is a high expense...”