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Survey finds more than 70 percent of clean energy businesses hit by pandemic

December 17, 2020
By: Connor LaVelle

The clean energy sector has continued to feel the economic strain brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, with many businesses citing the need for additional federal assistance to prevent future employee layoffs and furloughs. Third Way, working together with the Clean Energy Business Network, recently released their second survey of clean energy firms and the impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused to their business.

The survey found that over 70 percent of clean energy businesses have continued to be negatively affected by the pandemic, mirroring the results of Third Way’s initial survey of clean tech firms that was conducted in July. In contrast, the United States Census’ most recent Small Business Pulse Survey found 20.7 percent of businesses classified as professional, scientific, and technical services have been impacted. The recent Third Way report also noted that 55 percent of the survey respondents received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, with 48 percent of participating businesses reporting that they would apply for additional PPP funding if the program were to return.

Beyond the need for immediate federal COVID relief, the participating clean energy firms also noted the importance of longer-term federal policies to ensure the sector’s sustainability in the years to come. Over 40 percent of respondents listed the importance of extending existing clean energy and climate protection tax credits, alongside public investment in infrastructure, as keys to ensuring that clean energy businesses will be able to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic into a business environment that can allow for their continuing growth and development of innovative clean energy technologies.

The demand for clean energy technology moving forward is predicted to grow, especially as states and companies continue to work toward reducing their carbon footprint. These carbon-neutral goals, combined with the growing energy demands across the country, can serve as the foundation for the clean energy sector in the years to come while also demonstrating why it is important that federal assistance continues to be made available to these businesses.

The full results of the survey conducted by Third Way and the Clean Energy Business Network can be found here.

clean energy

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