FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (September 2, 2020 | Grand Junction, CO) – Colorado Mesa University (CMU) and the Grand Junction Economic Partnership (GJEP) have released the results of a valley-wide survey conducted in July to assess the impact of COVID-19 on local business and assist with post-pandemic recovery efforts for Mesa County. The survey is the most in-depth analysis to date of the Grand Valley business community regarding the pandemic – and the results are mostly comforting.

“Numerous partners across the valley have reached out to local business sectors to assess needs within the community and provide immediate recovery support. Our goal with this analysis was to bridge the gap between industry sectors and get a broader perspective of the long-term effects of the pandemic on our entire business community,” said GJEP Executive Director Robin Brown. “Equipped with this information we can confidently forecast the economic recovery trajectory for Mesa County. As of today, our forecast model shows only 3% total job loss in Mesa County by close of 2021.”

In order to extract statistically sound findings, GJEP reached out to 500 targeted businesses in Mesa County that represent our industry spread in similar proportion to our workforce, excepting the hospitality industry. Restaurant and retail were excluded because they are considered primarily impacted by government mandates and regulations, not as a result of consumer confidence or economic conditions.

GJEP staff called each business and followed up with an email with the link to a nearly 30-question survey, developed in partnership with Dr. Nathan Perry, Associate Professor of Economics at CMU.  276 businesses responded to the survey, representing 9,836 employees.

“Our findings indicate that Mesa County has experienced a relatively low impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, which suggests we are somewhat an anomaly in the state – and perhaps the country,” said Brown.

Key findings from the survey were:

  • 55-60% of businesses reported less than a 25% loss due to COVID-19
  • 13-15% reported catastrophic (over 75%) losses – primarily among food service and recreation businesses
  • 68% of businesses applied for and received federal assistance through the Payroll Protection Program, while 26% did not apply for any type of assistance
  • 86% of businesses feel moderately or very informed on recovery resources. Their top three sources are news media, government websites and local chambers.
  • Access to internet and/or technology for online sales or remote workforce was not considered a problem to conduct business

More information and the full 2020 Grand Valley Industry Analysis can be found on GJEP’s website, Members of the media can also email GJEP Marketing Director, Cilia Kohn, for the full report at

GJEP plans to conduct a similar survey twice-annually in order to continuously assess the economic welfare of our community and better guide economic development efforts in the future.


About Colorado Mesa University
Founded in 1925, Colorado Mesa University (CMU) is a comprehensive regional public higher education institution offering liberal arts, professional, and technical programs at the master’s, bachelor’s, associate and certificate levels. With an enrollment of more than 11,000 students, Colorado Mesa University is a dynamic learning environment that offers abundant opportunities for students and the larger community to grow intellectually, professionally, and personally. Visit for more information.

About the Grand Junction Economic Partnership
The Grand Junction Economic Partnership (GJEP) works to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life in Colorado’s Grand Valley by supporting high-impact capital investment and job creation. Operating as a 501(c)3, GJEP administers incentive programs and offers services free of charge to organizations interested in relocation or expansion in the cities of Grand Junction and Fruita, the town of Palisade and surrounding communities of Mesa County. Visit for more information.