The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Startups Operating in the Lublin Region
Purpose: The purpose of this work is to explore the problems that the startups operating in the Poland’s Lublin region are struggling and then to select the pairs problem-industry where there is a statistically significant relationship. Design/Methodology/Approach: The research method was a diagnostic survey with the use of a questionnaire as a research tool. The questionnaire was sent out through Google Forms to the startups run the Lublin region. In total, the study covered 219 entities. Findings: The conclusions from the research indicate that startups experienced serious hardship during the pandemic, which included problems with financial liquidity, decreasing sales volume, maintaining existing clients and acquiring new customers, and logistics difficulties. The research shows that the occurrence of particular groups of problems at a given level of significance, depends on a relatively small number of features. Analyzing individual problems, we found that the industry in which a given enterprise operates has no significant relation with the problems it experienced. Only in case of such problems as introducing remote work, access to new capital, sales drop, retaining present customers, ensuring health security of employees, renegotiation of contracts, and the issues concerning cybersecurity, there is a statistically significant relationship. Practical Implications: The paper provides knowledge on the problems faced by startups in particular sectors of the economy. This knowledge can influence decisions made both by decision-makers within institutions providing support to businesses, as well as by entities operating in the surveyed industries. Originality/Value: The paper presents the outcome of the recent study, carried out at the turn of 2020 and 2021, on the situation of startups operating in the Lublin region and their performance in a time of the pandemic.