The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent closure of restaurants, schools, events, and in some places, disruption of farmers markets, is having an immediate and potentially devastating impact on farmers and vendors selling to local markets in the Southern Appalachians. In order to better understand these experiences and how to best support these farm and food businesses, ASAP surveyed the farmers and vendors in their network.
Farmers and vendors anticipate the COVID-19 pandemic will dramatically impact the structure and financial viability of their businesses. Respondents share that in the first month of this outbreak, they expect to make fewer sales and have decreased income. Respondents share that in the long term, the pandemic could lead to drastic restructuring or the bankruptcy of many of the region’s farms.