ReMain Nantucket announced in early April that it has commissioned a series of studies on the short-term economic impacts of COVID-19 on local businesses and organizations. The initial survey, which was conducted and analyzed by the Boston-based consulting firm EBP US, was emailed to members of Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce, Nantucket Island non-profit organizations, Nantucket Builders Association, and daycare providers sourced through the Public Health Department of Nantucket. 

The survey was organized by a new committee--the Nantucket Economic Survey Team (NEST)--that includes representatives from ReMain Nantucket, the Nantucket Department of Culture and Tourism, Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce, Nantucket Island Center for Entrepreneurship (NICE), and Community Foundation for Nantucket. The team also includes Nantucket Select Board member Jason Bridges and Wendy Hudson representing the Retailer’s Association of Massachusetts, in addition to local merchants.  

The NEST team asked anyone who owns a business, is self-employed or runs an organization to participate in the survey to let us know how this crisis is affecting you. A read-only pdf version of the survey is available. The work was completed on April 27 and the Preliminary Summarized Findings of the Covid-19 Impact Survey were released on May 7.

To answer support needs, the new Nantucket Economic Recovery Group—with representatives from the Nantucket Island Chamber Commerce and the Town of Nantucket’s Economic Impact Task Force—will use this information to design a response strategy and plans for recovery.

“Rebuilding, resourcing, and recovery efforts and ideas are already emerging and range from immediate responses to plans that require a long term strategy,” said Janet Schulte, director of culture and tourism for the Town of Nantucket.

Keep the Rock Solid, an online hub of business resources for grant and relief opportunities that was established by the Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce, is an example of how the community is trying to immediately support small businesses. The site includes specific ways that businesses can apply for support, while also offering individuals opportunities to support the Island economy. A radio show associated with Keep the Rock Solid has also been launched on WACK and shares stories of how local business owners are adapting their business models as a way to recover.

“Underwriting EBP’s survey and helping to launch Keep the Rock Solid are just two examples of how ReMain is helping,” said Cecil Barron Jensen, executive director of ReMain Nantucket. “Being nimble in this new environment is essential if we want to build a strong and more resilient economy. We’ll continue to work with our NEST and EBP partners to research opportunities as we try to define a path forward.”