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57% of ECPs Would Like to See the Economy Open Within a Month

More than a quarter are afraid their business won’t last if things continue as-is.




Opening the economy after COVID-19 eyecare

WITH THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC still continuing to have a profound effect on virtually every type of business in the United States, INVISION has conducted a second round of its COVID-19 Impact Surveys to gauge the current temperature of American ECPs.

The new survey was conducted from April 20 to 26 and was answered by 88 eyecare business owners and top managers.

When asked what sort of timeline respondents would like to see for the re-opening of the economy, 14 percent said immediately and 43 percent said within the next month. This is an aggressive timeline, compared to some regions in the country.

“It’s overblown,” said Dave Goodrich of Goodrich Optical in Lansing, MI. “If we shut down the media, most of the problems would go away.”

Dr Robert Easton Jr, owner of Eastern Eye Care in Oakland Park, FL, concurred: “We cannot shut the country down every time a pandemic comes to town.”


Other ECPs were more sanguine.

“This sucks but I’m committed to stay the course for my family, friends, and community,” said Kevin Count of Prentice Lab in Glenview, IL.

Some eyecare pros even thought something positive might come from the enforced break from business.

“From a philosophical perspective, there may be some good that comes from all this,” offered Steve Nelson of Eye Candy Optical in Westlake, OH.

“We (the collective we as citizens of the world) have been forced to slow down, to relax, and focus on family, friends, and ourselves as individuals.
Perhaps this break in the action will improve our mental health and give us an appreciation of what is truly important after things go back to ‘normal’.”

It was evident from the survey that some of the eagerness to reopen is being fueled by extreme financial pressures. When asked how long they could stay in business if things continue as they are, 27 percent of the respondents said a month or less.


One factor worrying ECPs is the slow pace of government support, with only 23% saying they had received the government help they had applied for.

Andrew Romeril, OD, of Torrey Highlands Optometry is one ECP who has invested a lot of effort, but is still waiting for some kind of government support.

“The PPP was a disaster,” says the doctor. “Wells Fargo dropped the ball for us initially and we had to look elsewhere for an application, but despite being on top of this from the start, we didn’t receive any funding. Hoping round two is done better, but we’ve grown accustomed to federal incompetence.”

Annette Prevaux of The Visionary in Allen Park, MI, had her hopes raised, but was later disappointed. “I was approved for the Small Business Administration PPP loan, but funding ran out,” says the optician.

Forty-three percent of respondents reported not wanting the economy to reopen until there are clear signs the infection rate has been contained. And 41% of respondents said they could stay in business for three months if things continue as they are, while 32 percent said they could last six months or more.




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