Tech Council

Middle Tennessee tech companies are reporting that their revenue is decreasing, but they have mostly avoided significant layoffs during the coronavirus outbreak, according to a new survey from the Greater Nashville Technology Council.

The survey of 195 companies, found that more than 80% of the group’s members, which includes many companies from Williamson County, haven’t laid off any employees. More than a quarter of surveyed companies are still hiring. 

“With so many people working remotely, video conferencing has allowed many businesses to continue functioning without missing a beat, and the internet has become a virtual lifeline for families as they shelter in place,” tech council CEO Brain Moyer said, according to a release.  

Almost all companies reported that their employees are working remotely, and less than one in five companies are still operating a physical location. Close to half reported a decrease in revenue, and a small number have seen an increase in revenue. 

Still, 45% of all companies surveyed are hoping to get financial assistance through programs like the Paycheck Protection Program, a federal program that provides cash to pay employees. About 36% of surveyed companies are not applying for assistance. 

Those numbers stand in contrast to trends in the hospitality and food service industries. The Franklin restaurant chain CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Hardee’s, recently furloughed 95 employees. The Franklin based hotel developer Chartwell had to furlough 830 employees in Davidson, Sevier and Williamson counties. 

However, some local communications companies, especially those working on telehealth, are growing during the pandemic.

In many ways, the numbers from the tech council match reports from big tech companies across the U.S. In countries hit hardest by the virus, Facebook messaging and video calls have increased significantly. Amazon has already hired more than 100,000 people during the outbreak and plans to hire more

The stock price for Netflix has increased by nearly 50% over the last several weeks, and the stock price for the video conferencing company Zoom has more than doubled since the beginning of the year. 

The tech council conducted the survey last week, and about 40% of members responded.