The Sanford Area Growth Alliance wants to know how business owners have been affected by the novel coronavirus.

SAGA has posted a survey on its website, seeking feedback in an effort to help large and small businesses that are struggling.

“We’re trying to survey as many as we can to find out how it’s affected their business and do everything we can to help,” said Michael Smith,

All responses must be in by Monday afternoon, he said.

The survey asks questions such as the total employee count before the pandemic and the total since then.

Under the current conditions, one question reads, how much longer can a business stay open before it must close permanently.

The survey includes questions for business owners asking whether they have sought funding through a private lender or the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan, for payroll protection and if they’ve been successful.

Businesses large and small have been impacted negatively because of COVID-19 and the executive order that closed nonessential businesses, Smith said.

SAGA has been providing its members with financial information including what kind of loans are available.

“We’re aware of several (businesses and owners) that have applied and have received support from the programs and we’re trying to find out if there are others that need to access the programs,” Smith said.

Federal funding has been allocated on different occasions and the state’s General Assembly has been working on a plan for it to be dispersed.

“Certainly, this has been an unprecedented situation,” Smith said. “It’s a whole lot of information and we want to make sure businesses in Sanford and Lee County are getting what they need.”

SAGA has created a coronavirus tool kit on its website, There’s a link to the survey as well as a list of pandemic-related resources for business owners.

Reach Assistant Editor Nancy McCleary at 919-718-1219.

Reach Assistant Editor Nancy McCleary at 919-718-1219.