Anonymous survey will give the team insight into how COVID-19 has affected local businesses
Williamsport, Pennsylvania – Short and Sweet Communications, a Williamsport, Pennsylvania-based marketing and communications firm, is conducting market research on consumer behavior amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Owner Elizabeth Greenaway and her team of nine summer interns are working together, virtually, to support local businesses in our area as they do business in this new reality.
“One of the students discovered an alarming statistic: one in four small businesses is on the verge of permanent closure. None of us want to imagine our community with 25% of businesses gone,” Greenaway said.
At a time when many companies were canceling internships, Greenaway decided to offer its first summer internship opportunity for two reasons: a passion for mentoring students and a desire to provide pro bono support to local small businesses. .
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She expected a handful of applicants, but ended up with over 50 applicants from across the state.
“I chose these nine students because they all have an entrepreneurial spirit, big dreams, and most importantly, intellectual curiosity and a drive to do good for others,” Greenaway said. “It’s all new to me too, so in many ways we’re all learning together.”
While collecting research on the impacts of COVID-19 on local communities, summer interns also saw the impacts it was having on their own lives. Tess Woolslager, a rising senior at Penn State University, tested positive for the virus in July.
In addition to preparing for the launch of a Blog with useful information they gathered to communicate with the public amid the coronavirus pandemic, their current focus is to conduct market research.
“We tried to find comprehensive market research on how people are feeling and what they are doing – and not doing – because of the coronavirus. The information available is limited because it is all so new. North-central Pennsylvania is its own community, and we want the information we provide to local businesses to be relevant to the community they serve — so we decided to conduct our own,” Greenaway said.
Greenaway and his team hope to get a significant number of people to respond to the survey, so they can analyze and compile the results, and offer them for free to local businesses who want to know how the local community feels about approaching the life in this new reality.
the survey is anonymous, but participants have the option to provide their name and contact information at the end of the survey to be entered into a draw to win one of two $50 Amazon gift cards.
“This is a unique opportunity to share information and have your voice heard in research that supports local businesses during a desperate time – and gives students valuable insight into crisis communications,” Greenaway said. .
Readers are encouraged to complete the survey here: www.shortsweetcomm.com/survey
Local businesses interested in obtaining a copy of the market research results and other pro bono support services can email Elizabeth Greenaway at [email protected]