The Advocates: Know Your Public

July 16, 2020

If you want to understand your elected officials, know your electorate. This week, we were given the opportunity to learn more about those individuals who drive our economy, elect our leaders, work in our businesses and buy our goods and services. We should take advantage of this opportunity.

Chernoff Newman conducted a study in April, just as the impacts of the coronavirus were taking hold, to determine consumer sentiment in South Carolina. The results have helped guide numerous businesses since that time. This week, Chernoff Newman went back out into the field and updated the survey. The results are available online, for free, at

You may be asking, why does the Chamber’s Government Relations team care? The answer is simple and straightforward. Government action will be driven by consumer sentiment. Public policy will be guided by what the politicians are hearing.

And what are they hearing?

That 65.6% of South Carolinians are very concerned or somewhat concerned that they or someone in their household will come into contact with the coronavirus. That, due to the coronavirus, 55.4% of South Carolinians are very or somewhat concerned about their financial situation.

Only 15.7% are comfortable getting on a plane; 31% are comfortable eating inside at a restaurant; and 26.9% are already comfortable without wearing a mask in public.

Perhaps even more interesting is data regarding steps that businesses can take to make consumers feel safe and data reflecting on businesses taking stance on social injustice.

I strongly encourage you to take the time to read the results – to study and understand them. It’s important that our community’s business leaders appreciate the concerns of the populace. The information provided through the Consumer Insights Study will inform us on our own behavior, on how the Chamber approaches public policy issues, as well as what we can expect from our elected officials.

Your GR team is looking at new ways to further involve you in our work. If you’re interested, please complete a quick survey. If you already participate in our efforts through Champion Advocates, still complete the survey to ensure we have your most up-to-date information.

Scott Barhight
Senior Vice President of Government Relations

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