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

Azurite Consulting

Survey of 3,500 American Respondents
Collected between April 17th and April 24th, 2020

COVID-19 Impact on Business


A new report is available based on results from Azurite's July 2020 Survey.  Click here to view the new and most up to date report.

Azurite Consulting recently surveyed 3,500 Americans and 1,000 international respondents, in partnership with -  to capture a unique view of COVID-19’s impact on spending, hiring and business decision making.  

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, See the Full Report.

  • The recovery will be longer than popularly expected and not ‘V-shaped’, rather more ‘L-shaped’  - Executives and SMB owners are forecasting at least two years of recovery to achieve ‘just average’ conditions while corporate employees believe it will last beyond April 2022.  The majority of business decision makers believe companies will require and hire back fewer employees in the future, to complete the same amount of work as before Covid-19. See the Full Report

While some industries may rebound more rapidly, no one is expecting business conditions to return to December 2019 levels, any time soon

Forecast L-Shaped Recovery

If social distancing continues until October, 34% of SMBs don’t believe they will be able to stay in business

SMBs will close if social distancing continues

After the US emerges from Covid-19, 70% of American c-suite executives and SMB owners believe companies will hire fewer employees to perform the same work as before Covid-19

Companies will hire fewer people

The finance sector does not share the average professional’s view – that job losses will be severe and long-lasting.  Hire-back for similar amounts of work will vary by industry.

Hire back will vary by industry
  • 83% of companies have taken actions to prolong their balance sheet position – cuts are most severe on labor and growth drivers which will only serve to elongate the business crisis.  Labor and remuneration related cuts are disproportionately impacting workers (vs. managers) - and overall, will also serve to exacerbate the impact of the crisis as talent and skills are permanently lost. See the Full Report

83% of business leaders and decision makers indicated that their company had taken action to help prolong the life of their balance sheets

Types of expenses being cut

Cuts are greatest in labor expenses and remuneration – however, disproportionate impact will be felt by workers

Labor related cuts are harshest

On average, 37% of workers have suffered job losses or hours cuts backs – lost skills and capabilities will prolong recovery

Labor cuts by industry
  • Remote working tools are benefiting - their crisis uptake has pulled-forward years of digital transformation – likely with permanent effects on labor  - While we're all aware of the rapid uptake of video conferencing technology as we work from home, there has been significant uptake in other digital tools as well.  Taken as a whole, 94% of business leaders believe these digital tools are going to change the need to travel for work in the future and 85% think that the tools will permanently deliver greater flexibility to work from home, in the future. See the Full Report

The crisis usage of digital tools has pulled forward years of digital transformation and will have permanent effects on labor

Digital tools being used for the first time
Digital tools will change the way we work

Perceived improvements in work-life balance by some, will hasten the permanency of the digital transformation

Work life balance is improving for some
  • Americans are also taking steps to prolong their 'personal balance sheets'- 75% of Americans have cut back expenses in one form or another and cutting back their spending on a range of items. See the Full Report

Taken together, Americans are feeling the pinch… Half (49%) of respondents reported a cut to household income due to Covid-19

Incomes are taking a big hit

19% of Americans have dug into their long-term savings to get through the crisis

Americans are digging into their savings

Others are cutting back their household expenses to get through the crisis     

Americans are cutting back their household expenses
  • The rapid changes are altering people’s behaviors and values, putting more meaning on local business, community and meaningful jobs  - It is also changing our views of long-standing institutions and eroding our trust in the Federal Government. See the Full Report

Americans are increasingly looking to their local communities...

American's view of community is increasing

...and we are doing many things for the first time

Americans are doing a range of things for the first time

73% of Americans now trust the Federal Government less since the Covid-19 outbreak began...

We are losing faith in the Federal Government

...and a significant proportion of respondents will wait to take a vaccine – compounding to a prolonged recovery

Vaccine Adoption
  • Recovery is going to take much longer than business leaders are expecting - this is especially true for at-risk Americans  - A majority of respondents will wait a months after 'social distancing' is lifted, to return to normal life - but many will wait for a vaccine before resuming activities such as going to concerts, the theatre, amusement parks, hotels, gyms, casinos, flying, etc.   See the Full Report

Half of respondents saw themselves as 'at-risk'.  When aggregated across all activities, 'at-risk' respondents were half as likely to return to normal life before a vaccine was released.

At-Risk Americans are twice as likely to wait for a vaccine before returning to normal life

Average Americans are going to wait months before resuming normal life & travel activities - a large portion of Americans will wait for a vaccine.  The picture looks even worse for 'at-risk'  Americans. 

Americans will be slow to return to normal American life

At Risk respondents will wait for a vaccine before they begin traveling again

At risk individuals will be much more hesistant to travel

Hotel recovery will vary based on income, employment, whether a household has children or if an individual considers themself 'at risk'

Hotel recovery will not be rapid

When looking at restaurants more closely - 24% of American's indicate they will wait for a vaccine before going to a sit-down restaurant again...

People will wait before returning to restaurants

...but this will vary by how much you earn, whether you see your self 'at risk' or not, if you're employed and if you have children.  America is going to be fragmented by our varying abilities to return to normal.

Return to restaurants will vary across the population

Many questions remain - How will this change?  Ask Azurite Consulting

Data over time is invaluable compared to a snapshot

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

Responses & Results

Read the Complete Report: Business Impact of Covid-19

Our report on the business impact of Covid-19.  Prepare your business for what will come next.

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Notes on the survey methodology.  This online research was conducted working with - 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

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