By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE
A five-question survey completed by 30 CREW-St. Louis (Commercial Real Estate Women) members in late April reflects the impact that COVID-19 has had on members’ day-to-day business.
A regional chapter of a national organization, CREW-St. Louis’ membership includes 200 female professionals connected to the commercial real estate industry via occupations such as real estate, banking, architecture, engineering, construction, law and more.
Tracy Howren, 2020 President of CREW-St. Louis and SVP of Commercial Lending at UMB Bank, said 50 percent of respondents indicated that everything remains “business as usual,” but nearly 37 percent reported that there have been temporary pay cuts or reduced work weeks in their company.
More than 55 percent of respondents indicated that their firm’s workload pipeline has been affected by COVID-19. Only 20 percent reported that their company has taken advantage of furloughs requiring staff to file for unemployment. A total of 65.3 percent of those completing the CREW-St. Louis survey said their employer has filed for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan.
“The reason we conducted this survey was to understand in real time the challenges our members are facing with the current COVID-19 crisis,” said Howren. “By understanding the specific challenges they’re facing, we are able to best support our members. Our organization’s membership includes a lot of different levels of real estate expertise and experience, from those who have been part of the industry for three years or fewer to those with decades of experience. We feel our organization, CREW-St. Louis, has the expertise needed to lead in the (economic) recovery, lift our industry and support each other.”