The experience of Vermont local food businesses during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic
Keywords:COVID-19, Pandemic, Vermont, Foodservice, Restaurants, Farms, Direct Sales, Local Food, Resilience, Emergency Funding
The COVID-19 pandemic tested the resilience of food system actors at all levels and across all geographies. This study focuses on the experience of Vermont local food businesses by combining two surveys conducted in the first half of 2021: one of foodservice operations that procure food locally and one of Vermont farms that sell directly to consumers. We analyzed descriptive statistics, open responses, and conducted Kruskal-Wallis rank sum tests to assess which factors were related to businesses’ financial statuses before and since the pandemic. Pre-pandemic financial status was related with business type, whether the business went on to receive emergency funds, and financial status since the pandemic. The only significant factor for financial status since the pandemic was prepandemic financial status. We close with recommendations for policy and future research.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Claire Whitehouse, David Conner, Lisa Chase, Travis W. Reynolds
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