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BCW/Siena Survey Reveals Pandemic’s Impact on Westchester Business Climate

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The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted the Westchester business community in terms of lower revenues, less profitability and major changes in the way they operate their businesses with employees working remotely, according to a new survey of Westchester’s CEOs conducted by the Siena College Research Institute (SCRI) in partnership with the Business Council of Westchester.

This is the second poll of Westchester’s CEOs conducted by SCRI in partnership with the BCW. “We are very pleased to once again partner with the prestigious Siena College Poll Research Institute in providing this valuable information about Westchester’s business climate. These results will help inform the direction of the BCW’s work on behalf of Westchester businesses,” said BCW President & CEO Marsha Gordon.

Here are some of the key findings from the survey:

  • Only 17% think the general business climate in Westchester is improving while 56% think it is remaining the same and 27% think it is worsening.
  • Looking forward through the balance of 2021, a plurality 49%, expect economic conditions in New York to be either a little (42%) or considerably (7%) better while 42% expect economic conditions to grow worse in 2021.
  • The pandemic has led to decreasing revenues among 74% of CEOs, decreasing profitability among 66%, and a decrease for the demand for their product or service among 53%.
  • 61% say that COVID-19 has increased their cost of doing business.
  • 82% have increased the ability for their employees to work from home and 63% percent of those plan to keep this indefinitely.
  • 28% reduced their office space, 16% plan to make this change within the next six months and 55% do not plan to make this change.
  • 58% expect to emerge from the pandemic as a stronger business well positioned to be successful.
  • Looking ahead, 43% anticipate growing revenues, 27% say revenues will stay the same, 29% expect their revenue to decline.

SCRI conducted online interviews with 91 CEOs of Westchester companies from January 29 – Feb.16, 2021. CEOs were from the following industry sectors Service (70%), Financial (13%), Engineering and Construction (5%), Food and Beverage (4%), Retail (3%) and Manufacturing (3%).

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