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Downtown KC participates in national COVID analysis
As the nation begins to emerge from COVID, it is critical for community leaders to ask some tough questions and assess priorities and plans of residents, customers, and employees.
Toward that end the International Downtown Association (IDA) teamed up with RRC Associates in April and May to survey downtown residents throughout the U.S. and Canada and provide insights to their priorities and concerns. The Downtown Council of Kansas City (DTC), a member of the IDA, led the survey process in Downtown KC.
“The survey captured responses from nearly 20 downtowns across the country, plus one in Canada,” said Ann Holliday, DRC vice president. “The responses from Downtown KC were closely aligned with those from the other downtowns.”
Highlights of the Kansas City responses that were gathered in April include:
- 84% of respondents have received one or both COVID vaccinations. Another 9% do not intend to be vaccinated.
- 65% of respondents said local leaders feel the current pace of easing restrictions is about right. That compares to 47% of total survey respondents.
- 82% said they were likely to attend an outdoor concert or festival, if safety precautions were strictly followed.
- 73% said they were comfortable returning to indoor dining with 50% seating capacity limited. 42% said they were comfortable to dine indoors without capacity restrictions.
- 60% said they believe outdoor restaurant seating in sidewalks, parking spaces, streets, etc., should be made permanent. 22% agreed, but only at certain times and places.
Respondents also expressed their opinions about returning to the office:
- 79% of KC respondents said they worked remotely part- or full-time during the last year.
- When asked “Where do you prefer to work?”, respondents answered:
- 25% said they want to get back to the workplace
- 68% prefer a hybrid approach, where they can work remotely part-time
- 52% of employers said they will adopt a hybrid approach with working remotely part-time. 34% said they will revert back to the pre-COVID policies.
- In April, 42% said they were already back at work physically on a full-time basis. Another 19% expected to return by July; and another 26% by October. 3% said they would return by April 2022; and 10% expect remote working to be permanent.
The survey asked respondents how safe and secure they feel visiting Downtown today (April), compared to pre-pandemic times.
- Locally, 62% of respondents said they feel as safe now as before COVID. 36% said they feel slightly less safe. Only 2% said they feel much less safe.
- Nationally, the responses were significantly different, as 38% feel as safe now as before COVID, 42% feel slightly less safe, and 20% feel much less safe.
The complete COVID survey featured nearly 30 questions. Click here to read the complete survey results for Kansas City, along with comparisons between the local and total responses.