Survey gauges impact of COVID-19 in North Port

NORTH PORT — More than half the households surveyed in May on behalf of the Kindness Community reported that they experienced a moderate or major impact on their lives from COVID-19.

Also, more than one-third of the households surveyed reported a loss of income — either through a layoff, furlough, reduction of work hours, wages or pay reduction and loss of business income.

More significantly, 54% of those between the ages of 25 to 44 reported a loss of income.

That demographic was actually underrepresented, when compared to the city population, in the survey of 339 households conducted from May 13 to May 23.

When asked what would have put them in a better position during the crisis, a majority of the respondents pointed to better aid from the government.

Specifically, comments called for a more functional unemployment insurance system, more timely stimulus payments. They also referenced a need for more personal savings.

“Knowledge and accurate facts,” and “Better leadership,” were specifically noted in the study.

Kindness Community, a civility movement founded in 2016 by former North Port Mayor Jacqueline Moore, commissioned the email survey to help gauge the collective well-being of city residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey results were discussed earlier this month in two Zoom meetings and were distributed to partner organizations — including the city of North Port — that participated in the survey outreach.

Sarasota-based Robertson Consulting Group, led by Dr. Shelley Robertson, conducted the survey, which was purposefully designed to collect a diverse sample of city residents, while ensuring that both working professionals and families with young children would be interviewed.

By Earle Kimel,

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