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Special Questions

Special Questions

March 29, 2021

For this month’s Texas Business Outlook Surveys, Texas business executives were asked supplemental questions on the impact of Winter Storm Uri and the lifting of state occupancy restrictions and mask mandates. Results below include responses from participants of all three surveys: Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey, Texas Service Sector Outlook Survey and Texas Retail Outlook Survey.

Texas Business Outlook Surveys

Data were collected March 16–24, and 385 Texas business executives responded to the surveys.

1. Due to Winter Storm Uri, did your firm experience any of the following disruptions?

  Percent Average Most
(percent)
Some
(percent)
None
(percent)
Loss of power 61.1        
For how many days?
  3.2      
Loss of water 37.3        
For how many days?
  3.4      
Complete shutdown 51.9        
For how many days?
  4.6      
Reduced operating capacity 51.3        
For how many days?*
  5.0      
Damage to structure/facilities 31.0        
How much of the damage was, or is expected to be, covered by insurance?
    20.0 45.5 34.5
Damage to equipment 19.0        
How much of the damage was, or is expected to be, covered by insurance?
    11.9 49.3 38.8
Damage to inventories 9.5        
How much of the damage was, or is expected to be, covered by insurance?
    9.1 30.3 60.6
Not applicable; our firm did not experience any disruptions as a result of Winter Storm Uri. 10.6        

*Respondents were asked not to include days where their firm was completely shut down—only days when their firm was operating at limited capacity.
NOTE: 378 responses.

2. What percentage of your firm’s February revenues was lost as a result of Winter Storm Uri?

  Average
(percent)
13.6

NOTE: 368 responses.

2a. What share of this lost revenue was made up, or is expected to be made up, with elevated revenue over the subsequent one to four weeks?

    Percent
Less than 25% 46.1
25%–49% 16.3
50%–75% 15.9
More than 75% 21.6

NOTES: 245 responses. This question only posed to those who reported they had February revenue loss as a result of Winter Storm Uri.

3. Was your business previously subject to the state-mandated mask mandate?

    Percent
Yes 73.5
No 26.5

NOTE: 377 responses.

3a. In light of the lifting of the statewide mask mandate on March 10, will your firm continue to require employees and customers to wear masks while on-site?

  Yes
(percent)
No
(percent)
Employees 87.4 12.6
Customers 72.9 24.5

NOTES: 277 responses. This question only posed to those who were previously subject to the state-mandated mask mandate.

4. Was your business previously subject to state-mandated capacity restrictions?

    Percent
Yes 23.3
No 76.7

NOTE: 377 responses.

4a. Have you reopened, or do you plan to reopen, to 100% capacity?

    Percent
Yes 59.1
No 40.9

NOTE: 88 responses. This question only posed to those who were previously subject to state-mandated capacity restrictions.

Survey respondents were given the opportunity to provide comments. These comments can be found on the individual survey Special Questions results pages, accessible by the tabs above.

Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey

Data were collected March 16–24, and 110 Texas manufacturers responded to the survey.

1. Due to Winter Storm Uri, did your firm experience any of the following disruptions?

  Percent Average Most
(percent)
Some
(percent)
None
(percent)
Loss of power 63.0        
For how many days?
  3.6      
Loss of water 31.5        
For how many days?
  4.2      
Complete shutdown 83.3        
For how many days?
  5.1      
Reduced operating capacity 55.6        
For how many days?*
  6.5      
Damage to structure/facilities 38.9        
How much of the damage was, or is expected to be, covered by insurance?
    14.3 47.6 38.1
Damage to equipment 25.0        
How much of the damage was, or is expected to be, covered by insurance?
    3.8 57.7 38.5
Damage to inventories 13.9        
How much of the damage was, or is expected to be, covered by insurance?
    7.1 14.3 78.6
Not applicable; our firm did not experience any disruptions as a result of Winter Storm Uri. 4.6        

*Respondents were asked not to include days where their firm was completely shut down—only days when their firm was operating at limited capacity.
NOTE: 108 responses.

2. What percentage of your firm’s February revenues was lost as a result of Winter Storm Uri?

  Average
(percent)
20.5

NOTE: 106 responses.

2a. What share of this lost revenue was made up, or is expected to be made up, with elevated revenue over the subsequent one to four weeks?

    Percent
Less than 25% 42.6
25%–49% 12.8
50%–75% 16.0
More than 75% 28.7

NOTES: 94 responses. This question only posed to those who reported they had February revenue loss as a result of Winter Storm Uri.

3. Was your business previously subject to the state-mandated mask mandate?

    Percent
Yes 63.9
No 36.1

NOTE: 108 responses.

3a. In light of the lifting of the statewide mask mandate on March 10, will your firm continue to require employees and customers to wear masks while on-site?

  Yes
(percent)
No
(percent)
Employees 89.9 10.1
Customers 85.5 11.6

NOTES: 69 responses. This question only posed to those who were previously subject to the state-mandated mask mandate.

4. Was your business previously subject to state-mandated capacity restrictions?

    Percent
Yes 5.6
No 94.4

NOTE: 108 responses.

4a. Have you reopened, or do you plan to reopen, to 100% capacity?

    Percent
Yes 66.7
No 33.3

NOTES: 6 responses. This question only posed to those who were previously subject to state-mandated capacity restrictions.

Special Questions Comments

These comments have been edited for publication.

Chemical Manufacturing

  • Winter Storm Uri's impact to revenue is still being determined.
  • The ice storm’s impacts on production raw materials will continue from many vendors. It’s 30 days so far, and it likely will have impacts until May.

Fabricated Metal Manufacturing

  • We have facilities in several states. Some had mask mandates and some did not. Also, from a power and water perspective, some facilities maintained power and water and some did not. We had damage at several facilities, but none of these will require insurance filings as they are below deductibles.

Machinery Manufacturing

  • Our business is nationwide with oil companies. They continued to order equipment from outside our area [during the winter storm here], and we worked remotely with our salespeople. The shop was closed; however, we did ship orders once the freeze was over.

Food Manufacturing

  • We shut down to conserve both electrical energy and gas for overall pressure and deliverability to others [during the storm]. We shut down for three days due to access and ingress and egress. We have fully recovered. As to COVID, we are still maintaining strict limited access to our facility, internal masking, social distancing, temperature monitoring of employees and guests, questionnaires and hand sanitation. Given the governor’s “open up” command, spring break and the influx of COVID-positive people into Texas, we will maintain this and revisit this policy in 45 days.

 

Texas Service Sector Outlook Survey

Data were collected March 16–24, and 275 Texas business executives responded to the survey.

1. Due to Winter Storm Uri, did your firm experience any of the following disruptions?

  Percent Average Most
(percent)
Some
(percent)
None
(percent)
Loss of power 60.4        
For how many days?
  3.1      
Loss of water 39.6        
For how many days?
  3.1      
Complete shutdown 39.3        
For how many days?
  4.1      
Reduced operating capacity 49.6        
For how many days?*
  4.4      
Damage to structure/facilities 27.8        
How much of the damage was, or is expected to be, covered by insurance?
    23.5 44.1 32.4
Damage to equipment 16.7        
How much of the damage was, or is expected to be, covered by insurance?
    17.1 43.9 39.0
Damage to inventories 7.8        
How much of the damage was, or is expected to be, covered by insurance?
    10.5 42.1 47.4
Not applicable; our firm did not experience any disruptions as a result of Winter Storm Uri. 13.0        

*Respondents were asked not to include days where their firm was completely shut down—only days when their firm was operating at limited capacity.
NOTE: 270 responses.

2. What percentage of your firm’s February revenues was lost as a result of Winter Storm Uri?

  Average
(percent)
10.9

NOTE: 262 responses.

2a. What share of this lost revenue was made up, or is expected to be made up, with elevated revenue over the subsequent one to four weeks?

    Percent
Less than 25% 48.3
25%–49% 18.5
50%–75% 15.9
More than 75% 17.2

NOTES: 151 responses. This question only posed to those who reported they had February revenue loss as a result of Winter Storm Uri.

3. Was your business previously subject to the state-mandated mask mandate?

    Percent
Yes 77.3
No 22.7

NOTE: 269 responses.

3a. In light of the lifting of the statewide mask mandate on March 10, will your firm continue to require employees and customers to wear masks while on-site?

  Yes
(percent)
No
(percent)
Employees 86.5 13.5
Customers 68.8 28.8

NOTES: 208 responses. This question only posed to those who were previously subject to the state-mandated mask mandate.

4. Was your business previously subject to state-mandated capacity restrictions?

    Percent
Yes 30.5
No 69.5

NOTE: 269 responses.

4a. Have you reopened, or do you plan to reopen, to 100% capacity?

    Percent
Yes 58.5
No 41.5

NOTES: 82 responses. This question only posed to those who were previously subject to state-mandated capacity restrictions.

Special Questions Comments

These comments have been edited for publication.

Pipeline Transportation

  • We are a pipeline company, and the power problems directly impacted our producer customers where they couldn't deliver.

Warehousing and Storage

  • The primary loss for [us] was in the area of refined products, which will not be made up.

Credit Intermediation and Related Activities

  • All face guards are remaining in place, but masks are based on the employees’ and customers’ discretion.

Insurance Carriers and Related Activities

  • We are an office, so masks were mandated for client interactions. They are still recommended but no longer required.

Professional, Scientific and Technical Services

  • Since we were [working remotely] prior to the winter storm, we continued in that fashion. Many in Texas used the office as a refuge for power and water when they lost those services at home. This was true in our Houston and Dallas offices. Austin was offline related to power restrictions. Many could not work at home with no power and thus no internet. We believe there was some impact, but it appears somewhat minimized with office access in locations noted. There was no impact on operations outside of Texas.
  • The opening up of everything at 100 percent capacity and removal of the mask mandate is going to create another spike in COVID-19 cases and deaths. (By the way, I am a Texan.) Then on top of that, Texas Attorney General Paxton is suing Austin for continuing a mask mandate. (Gov. Abbott's order included "blocking" cities from having mandates.) Politics in Texas will continue to hurt the economy by creating another COVID-19 spike that will cost more in health care than the requirement to wear a mask and social distance.
  • Employees could not safely report to work. Everyone experienced internet and power outages, and many had no water. These conditions made the remote-work operations highly ineffective.
  • We didn’t change our COVID-19 protocols based on the governor’s mandate. We have practiced social distancing, but employees have not been required to wear masks inside the office, and coming in to the office is completely voluntary; so, about one-third of our team has been coming in to the office, and the rest have been working remotely.

Management of Companies and Enterprises

  • Given our business is commercial banking, our lost revenues are only attributable to decreased customer transactional business during the winter storm outages. The clock keeps ticking on the interest meter for booked loans.

Administrative and Support Services

  • We are able to function, but quality of services to customers has been impacted as we have been unable to obtain necessary repairs to back-up systems to restore full functionality to our phone system. We must use an external vendor, and there is limited availability of vendors, and the vendors have limited capacity. We're not sure of the time frame for repairs.
  • The winter storm caused us to shut down for seven days.
  • Although our business was not subject to the state-mandated mask requirement, our clients' businesses were. The mask mandates have not impacted our business as much as the increased vaccinations have positively impacted the outlook and activity level, which should result in increased revenue.
  • [Regarding the] damage to equipment, one question should be: How much time and money is it costing to fight the insurance company over damage being caused by an act of God or damage due to negligence on the part of the PUC [Public Utility Commission] and ERCOT [Electric Reliability Council of Texas]? It's been a finger-pointing circle as of late.

Educational Services

  • We will likely open to 100 percent capacity in fall 2021 but not until that time.

Ambulatory Health Care Services

  • While the winter storms had minimal effect on us as your questions were asked, please know that we were devastated by the winter storms. Our food inventory plummeted to dangerous levels due to the havoc wreaked on our supply chains and the food manufacturing plants where we source our food supplies. In addition, we are seeing dramatically higher shipping costs and other associated costs.
  • As a medical facility, we will continue to mask employees and patients.

Performing Arts, Spectator Sports and Related Industries

  • We anticipate returning to "normal" as the population reaches near-herd immunity.

Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional and Similar Organizations

  • Most of our staff are working from home, so the power outages for our office did not have a significant impact. But, most of our staff had power outages or water issues, or both, at their homes that significantly affected productivity.

 

Texas Retail Outlook Survey

Data were collected March 16–24, and 54 Texas retailers responded to the survey.

1. Due to Winter Storm Uri, did your firm experience any of the following disruptions?

  Percent Average Most
(percent)
Some
(percent)
None
(percent)
Loss of power 60.4        
For how many days?
  2.9      
Loss of water 34.0        
For how many days?
  2.9      
Complete shutdown 56.6        
For how many days?
  3.9      
Reduced operating capacity 45.3        
For how many days?*
  5.7      
Damage to structure/facilities 30.2        
How much of the damage was, or is expected to be, covered by insurance?
    14.3 57.1 28.6
Damage to equipment 18.9        
How much of the damage was, or is expected to be, covered by insurance?
    22.2 55.6 22.2
Damage to inventories 15.1        
How much of the damage was, or is expected to be, covered by insurance?
    28.6 57.1 14.3
Not applicable; our firm did not experience any disruptions as a result of Winter Storm Uri. 7.5        

*Respondents were asked not to include days where their firm was completely shut down—only days when their firm was operating at limited capacity.
NOTE: 53 responses.

2. What percentage of your firm’s February revenues was lost as a result of Winter Storm Uri?

  Average
(percent)
15.5

NOTE: 51 responses.

2a. What share of this lost revenue was made up, or is expected to be made up, with elevated revenue over the subsequent one to four weeks?

    Percent
Less than 25% 43.9
25%–49% 24.4
50%–75% 19.5
More than 75% 12.2

NOTES: 41 responses. This question only posed to those who reported they had February revenue loss as a result of Winter Storm Uri.

3. Was your business previously subject to the state-mandated mask mandate?

    Percent
Yes 81.1
No 18.9

NOTE: 53 responses.

3a. In light of the lifting of the statewide mask mandate on March 10, will your firm continue to require employees and customers to wear masks while on-site?

  Yes
(percent)
No
(percent)
Employees 93.0 7.0
Customers 58.1 39.5

NOTES: 43 responses. This question only posed to those who were previously subject to the state-mandated mask mandate.

4. Was your business previously subject to state-mandated capacity restrictions?

    Percent
Yes 17.0
No 83.0

NOTE: 53 responses.

4a. Have you reopened, or do you plan to reopen, to 100% capacity?

    Percent
Yes 88.9
No 11.1

NOTE: 9 responses. This question only posed to those who were previously subject to state-mandated capacity restrictions.

Special Questions Comments

This comment has been edited for publication.

Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers

  • Total revenues are down almost 20 percent. Three departments are down significantly more: service centers,collision centers and preowned vehicle sales.

 

Questions regarding the Texas Business Outlook Surveys can be addressed to Emily Kerr at emily.kerr@dal.frb.org.

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