As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has shaken up nearly every industry across the globe. Manufacturers have had to halt production, the supply chain is disrupted and trade delays have made things very difficult for most industries, businesses, workers and clients. On April 16, the Precision Metalforming Association put out its monthly sheet metal business conditions report, taking the temperature of the industry in Umatilla County, OR and beyond. PMA represents around 800 companies in the metalworking industry, which brings in around $137 billion per year. But can the industry continue to operate profitably in this environment?
Challenging times ahead
According to the PMA’s survey, a whopping 87 percent of participants believed that there will be challenges ahead for the metalworking industry, up 56 percent from when they were surveyed in March. It’s no surprise, since COVID-19 has increasingly taken over the national conversation. In March, it was far less clear how the virus would affect our businesses and everyday lives. Now, with many states enacting travel bans and restricting business operations for public health, it’s clear that there will be major changes to contend with.
In turn, 82 percent of the metalformers (up from 25 percent in March) believe there will be a “substantial” drop in their incoming orders, and 65 percent saying they’ve already experienced a drop in business. Companies with layoffs or furloughs have gone up to 40 percent in April alone. The numbers might be frightening, but they’re a realistic look at the chaos the industry and world are experiencing.
However, there are bright spots, too. PMA president David Klotz reported that member associations had stepped up to help the world fight the novel coronavirus, including producing personal protective equipment for healthcare workers.
How PMA is helping
PMA is currently requesting that the federal government replenish the “Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan program as soon as possible before available funds are depleted,” as it is a critical program for countless PMA member businesses.
It’s also offering guidance to its members, for health and safety issues as well as how to navigate the crisis. This includes commentary on acquiring Small Business Administration loans and how to keep workers safe while operating in any allowed capacity.
Finally, the organization has vowed to help fight COVID-19 in whatever capacity possible, including minimizing as many supply chain disruptions as it can. While the pandemic has already drastically affected the world, industry insiders are doing their part to smooth the way for others.
Learn more about how the sheet metal business conditions report affects Umatilla County, OR
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Categorised in: Metal Fabrication
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