Impact of Covid-19 On Business Decision Making, Spending & Recovery - JULY 2020


RESULTS FROM EXECUTIVES, BUSINESS OWNERS AND BUSINESS DECISION MAKERS
Azurite Consulting

Survey of 3,500 American Respondents
Collected between June 18th and July 6th, 2020

Azurite Consulting recently surveyed 3,500 Americans , in partnership with PeakProsperity.com -  to capture a unique view of COVID-19’s impact on spending, hiring and business decision making. This is the second survey in a longitudinal study, capturing the granular impacts of Covid-19 and paths forward. We plan to continue the study, with the next 'data point' survey in Q3, 2020. The original research is available here.

This article highlights a subset of the major research findings, but is only a portion of the total findings.  For additional insight to help business leaders and decision makers, Download the Full Report

Report Contents

COVID-19 Impact on Business

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS FROM OUR NATIONAL SURVEY OF AMERICANS, EXECUTIVES, BUSINESS OWNERS AND BUSINESS DECISION MAKERS

Business conditions are not expected to return to December 2019 circumstances prior to mid-2023. While some industries may rebound more rapidly, respondents expect slow growth

Forecast L-Shaped Recovery

Of the SMBs still operating today, 25% believe they will not be in business if Social Distancing remains in place for another 6 months

SMBs will close if social distancing continues

After the US emerges from Covid-19, 68% of American c-suite executives and SMB owners believe companies will hire fewer employees to perform the same work as before Covid-19

Fewer employees will be needed after the pandemic

The volume of re-hiring after the pandemic will vary by industry, with some industries suffering longer term impact than others

Hire back after the pandemic will vary by industry

On average, 35% of workers have suffered job losses or hours cut backs – lost skills and capacity will prolong recovery

Layoffs & Furloughs to date

Businesses have already cut back significantly and yet additional lay-offs and furloughs are expected before September

Cut backs have been severe in some case

Spending cut contagion has already cascaded through value chains and crossed industry lines…

Spend cuts are cascading across industries

Expense cuts undertaken by companies through July 2020

SMBs will close if social distancing continues

In addition to cuts already undertaken, 66% of business decision makers expect additional expense cuts ahead... across a range of spend categories

More spend cuts are coming before end of year
Additional cuts expected before December 2020

Technology is proving efficient and improving lifestyle, but managers are less inclined to agree – what impact will this have?

Virtual conferencing tools are effective

Managers are finding it slightly less efficient to work from home when compared to employees and some Managers have found that work-life balance is worse

Some managers are finding it difficult to work from home

41% of companies plan to spend MORE on workflow and business process automation in the next year

Companies are investing in workflow automation software

49% of respondents believe workflow automation will likely lead to further job cuts in the future

Workflow automation is going to lead to further job cuts

Larger companies are investing more heavily in workflow automation software… and office workers at these companies believe they are more at risk to lose their jobs because of these investments

Investment in workflow automation software will lead to job cuts

While working more from home will likely become a norm, the future mix of office vs. home is yet to be settled and managers will likely have a strong influence on working from home norms

Managers will likely have a strong influence on future working norms

Working parents with school age children, are having to adapt.... quickly!

Parents working from home

Many companies, especially those located in major cities, are already considering and planning to move out of the city

Companies are already planning relocation

The pandemic is also causing Americans, across all walks of life, to accelerate a move out of the city

People will move due to the pandemic

Returning to the office will be complex: 1 in 4 office workers would quit if asked to return too soon....

Workers will quit if they are forced to return

...While 70% of Americans indicated that taking public transport to work is unsafe due to the pandemic

Public transit is widely viewed as unsafe

To foster a safe return, office workers want face masks and investment in better hygiene before they return

Workers want a series of measures put in place before returning to the office

Daycare and schools can take a range of actions which may make parents more willing to consider return to school (and parents' working life at home easier)

Return To School Measures

An effective Federal Government could support the recovery through investment in areas with broad alignment across Americans

Government Actions to Mitigate Disaster

Recovery timelines will be driven by American’s willingness to fully recommence activities.  However, since the April 2020 Azurite Survey, Americans have become less willing to return to basic activities

People will wait to return to a range of activities

Willingness to return to activities will depend on business’ ability to ensure customers feel safe – masks and better sanitization will play a big role

Businesses need to take action to foster customer return

Travel & Tourism will be particularly hard hit, as many Americans will wait for a vaccine before getting back on the move

Return to Travel Summary

See More Details about Travel Here

Americans are going to be slower than previously indicated at returning to their leisurely pastime activities

Passing Time Activities

Restaurants: while Not at Risk individuals indicate willingness to return soon, measures are required to ensure they sit down for a meal 

Restraurants Summary

Given the importance of mask-wearing for customers and employees, business will be forced to grapple with politics

Mask wearing has sadly become political

Consumer continue to cut back as well – creating the risk of a downward spiral unless mitigating actions are taken

Consumers continue to cut back

People are moving away from fashion and cosmetics and purchasing more for health, outdoors and alcohol

Buyer Behavoir is Changing

Millennials are driving purchases in certain categories

Millenials are driving category increases

Many people are taking the time to learn new skills and play with their children, while forgoing local day trips

People are pursuing different activities

Return to Normal - Activity by Activity

Detailed charts to help business decision makers across industries understand what measures are most important to consumers

Restaurants

Restaurants

Professional / College sporting events

Sports Venues

Arts, Cinema, Theater

Arts

Gyms

Gyms

Hotels

Hotels

Flying

Flying

Casinos

Casinos

Amusement Parks, Theme Parks

Amusement Parks

Places of Worship 

Places of Worship

Political Rallies

Political Rallies

Access the Complete Report

Many more insights and much more detail to help your business make decisions in uncertain times.

Responses & Results

Read the Complete Report: July 2020 Business Impact of Covid-19

Our July 2020 report on the business impact of Covid-19.  Prepare your business for what will come next.  The PDF version of the report contains a range of additional materials which are not included in the web version of the report - so be sure to check it out.

Please direct all Media requests to: John Goodman:  media@azuriteconsulting.com

Notes on the survey methodology.  This online research was conducted working with PeakProsperity.com - a highly engaged community of over 360,000 global subscribers actively seeking information about resilience during uncertain times.   The research was conducted April 17-24th, 2020, and is subject to a +/- 1.7 percentage point margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level.  Screening and demographic questions were utilized to identify respondents who are business leaders & decision makers, executives and SMB owners across a range of industries.  Additional detailed methodology notes can be found within the report

Azurite Consulting is the leading provider of unique primary research to private equity firms, hedge funds, and large enterprises. Azurite’s unique methodologies provide our clients with original primary research they can trust, allowing them to make their most critical decisions with the highest degree of conviction.

PeakProsperity.com publishes analysis on the macro trends most likely to impact our future and helps individuals prepare prudently for them. Its website receives over one million visits per month and over 350,000 subscribers follow its daily video reports on YouTube.

Delivering unique insight from proprietary research methodologies

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