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EO Nashville Survey Chronicles the Highs and Lows of COVID-19 Impact on Middle Tennessee Entrepreneurs

EO Nashville Survey Chronicles the Highs and Lows of COVID-19 Impact on Middle Tennessee Entrepreneurs

65 percent of respondents were negatively affected in March and April – yet only 12 percent expect lower revenues in May and June than previous months.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – May 14, 2020 – The Entrepreneurs’ Organization of Nashville (EO Nashville), the largest EO chapter in the United States and third largest in the world, today released the results of a survey analyzing the effect of COVID-19 on its entrepreneur members. Participants included members of EO Nashville and Catalyst, an EO program designed to help boost business revenues over the $1 million annual revenue threshold required to join EO.

The survey analyzed the coronavirus’ effect on companies’ revenue, staffing, sheltering in place and survivability. Respondents’ companies range from $250,000 to more than $10 million in revenue and represent 29 different industries.

Most notably, 65 percent of respondents reported a negative effect on revenue during March and April, with more than 30 percent seeing revenue decline by at least half compared to the same time period in 2019. However, only 12 percent expect worse revenues in May and June than the previous two months.

Nearly 60 percent of respondents furloughed or laid off staff during March and April. However, only 21 percent furloughed or laid off more than 75 percent of their employees, and only 19 percent anticipate more staff reductions once government funding expires. Additionally, 68 percent expect to increase their remote working staff post-COVID and 31 percent expect their full staff to return to the worksite in the same capacity as before the virus struck.

Sheltering-in-place has had a moderate effect on local entrepreneurs: 53 percent of EO members surveyed believed they could survive 2020 with prolonged sheltering in place, whereas only 25 percent felt they could endure the summer in this manner. Only 19 percent said they would be unable to survive if shelter in place orders extend beyond May.

“Every business – no matter how large or small – will be affected by the coronavirus in some capacity,” said Michael Burcham, executive partner at Shore Capital Partners and conductor of the survey. “We wanted to see exactly how business owners are handling the situation and quantify its effect on their companies. Only then can we understand how to help them through this challenging time.”

The survey identifies the business owners’ top five areas in which they desire support, which varies by company size and industry. The top results include training for leading in times of crisis, post-COVID market trends by industry, developing a new business model for the “low touch” era and financial modeling for new pricing and distribution.

“One of the greatest benefits of being an EO member is being able to learn from other business owners who have experienced – or are experiencing – the same challenges as you,” said Marty Reed, EO Nashville president and CEO of Randa Solutions, Inc. “We’re currently gathering resources to address the top concerns our members are facing, as noted in the survey. Our goal is to provide the tools they need to weather this storm and end 2020 ahead of where they were in 2019.”

To view the complete survey results, click here.

About EO Nashville

With more than 250 members, the EO Nashville chapter is the largest EO chapter in America and the third largest within the global EO network. EO Nashville members own or operate companies from $1 million to nearly $200 million in revenue. Collectively, the Nashville chapter employs more than 11,000 people and represents over $2 billion in revenue. If combined, the member companies of EO Nashville would be one of the largest public or private employers in the region. For more information, contact Sameera Lowe, executive director, at, or visit our website at