New Federal Reserve Survey Shows Pandemic's Economic Impact

For immediate release: July 7, 2020

COVID-19 continues to have a profound effect on people nationwide. A new Federal Reserve System report spotlights specific challenges faced by low- to moderate-income (LMI) communities across the United States.

The report, "Perspectives from Main Street: The Impact of COVID-19 on Low- to Moderate-Income Communities and the Entities Serving Them," examines findings of a nationwide survey of nonprofits, financial institutions, government agencies and other community organizations. The survey was conducted in June 2020 with over 1,800 respondents serving rural, suburban and urban areas.

Key findings show:

  • Sixty percent of respondents indicated COVID-19 was significantly disrupting economic conditions in the communities they serve, and they said they expect recovery to be difficult.
  • The most frequently cited impacts of COVID-19 were income loss and job loss/unemployment.
  • Nearly half indicated it will take longer than 12 months for the communities and people they serve to return to economic conditions they were experiencing prior to the pandemic.
  • About 1 in 5 said their organization could operate for less than three months in the current environment before exhibiting financial distress.

The Federal Reserve seeks to promote the economic resilience and mobility of individuals and communities across the United States, including low- to moderate-income and underserved households. Increasing economic opportunity is not only good for individuals and communities but is also vital to the overall economy. Amid the pandemic, the Fed is deepening its existing outreach to gather useful information as conditions evolve.

Earlier this spring, all 12 Reserve Banks and the Board of Governors released findings of a similar survey, and they will release new findings regularly throughout 2020. More information is available at frbatlanta.org/covidsurvey-communities.

Contact: Karen Mracek | 470-249-8348