We Listened.  This is what you said.

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In September 2021, the Carolina Across 100 team conducted a survey to stakeholders across the state. The survey primarily targeted leaders in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors to gauge the impacts of COVID-19 on their organizations and in their communities. The response was overwhelming. We heard from over 4,000 people, resulting in almost 3,000 usable surveys. This includes input from individuals living in, working in, and serving all 100 North Carolina counties.

Survey questions focused on long-standing challenges exacerbated by and new challenges associated with COVID-19. The survey also asked about expected long-term effects of the pandemic, expectations about the timing of ongoing impacts, and the populations that have been most impacted by COVID-19. What we have uncovered so far indicates deep, lingering worries about the effects of this pandemic.

Survey Responses Received by County

Survey Results by County

It is clear that stakeholders are ready and willing to share information about their experiences with COVID-19. Responses came in from every county in North Carolina, with some concentration in the Triangle and Triad regions as well as Mecklenburg County. This map shows respondents whose organizations serve individual counties or a small group of counties. The full survey sample includes even more respondents, including those whose organizations serve the entire state.

Survey questions focused on long-standing challenges exacerbated by and new challenges associated with COVID-19. The survey also asked about expected long-term effects of the pandemic, expectations about the timing of ongoing impacts, and the populations that have been most impacted by COVID-19.

Top Concerns
Top 3 Concerns

Our comprehensive report provides an overview of the findings and insights from the first phase of the Carolina Across 100 initiative and describes next steps for the work that lies ahead.

Assessing the Impacts & Identifying a Path Forward:

Findings from Carolina Across 100

Anita Brown-Graham, Jess Dorrance, Evan Johnson, & Natalie Short

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Impacts of Covid will be long term
A large majority (70%) also report that the worst impacts are still ahead, with respondents reporting that some of the most negative effects may occur in the next few months to more than a year from now.

Greatest Concerns

Certain issues are clearly of greatest concern. These include employment instability, loss of small businesses, risk of business closures, and educational disruptions, which repeatedly rise to the top of our survey rankings as the areas of greatest challenge for communities.

These are also the issue areas that respondents expect will have the longest-term impacts on their communities. In other words, the issues that are having the most negative effects on communities now and they are also issues that may have the most lasting effects on communities.

Certain issues are clearly of greatest concern. These include employment instability, loss of small businesses, risk of business closures, and educational disruptions, which repeatedly rise to the top of our survey rankings as the areas of greatest challenge for communities.
the issues that are having the most negative effects on communities now and they are also issues that may have the most lasting effects on communities.

While no one has been spared from the devastation of the pandemic, some individuals have been disproportionately affected. Survey respondents indicated that working class individuals, people of color, and mothers were among those most affected by COVID.

Long Term Covid-19 Impacts
Negative Impacts of Covid-19 to your community
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Insights

  • Educational disruptions, employment instability, and the loss of small businesses were the three key areas of concern top of mind for our respondents.
  • These concerns were fairly consistent across geography and sector.
  • Survey and interview respondents frequently mentioned concerns about the overwhelming loss of life due to COVID-19 as well as a sense that divisiveness in their communities had grown.

Key Takeaways

Consistency across the main areas of concern may expand opportunities to scale work regionally and/or share resources and best practices across communities to greater effect. However, while the challenges may be similar, no two communities are the same; tailoring approaches with community guidance will remain critical.

There is still significant work ahead in the next phases of the Carolina Across 100 initiative.

Carolina Across 100 is ready to partner with communities across North Carolina as we begin this first program and dive deeper into the research and collaboration. With the help of the Carolina Engagement Council, our first program will launch in March 2022. A request for proposals will be announced, inviting communities to apply to join this collaborative work.

Be the first to know when the program is announced. Sign up to receive emails offering more data, program details, invitations to participate, and resources to share.