Page 14 - BusinessWest December 7, 2020
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Looking Up
National Business Trends Survey Suggests Improving Outlook
Could better times be around the corner? A growing number of executives across the U.S. think so.
In the just-released 2021 National Business Trends Survey from the Employer Associations of America (EAA), 44% of company executives see an improving economic outlook in 2021. This annual survey shares information on what executives nationally are doing to address the changing business climate. Survey responses also reflect the impact COVID-19 has had on this year’s business trends.
When executives were asked if the over-
all U.S. economy in the next 12 months will “improve, stay the same, or decline,” the larg- est segment of respondents (44%) think it will improve, as opposed to last year, with only 12% expecting the economy to improve — and that was before the pandemic had come into view. This year, 33% think it will stay the same, as opposed to 52% last year. Only 24% think it will decline, compared to 36% a year ago.
“COVID certainly has had a significant impact, and perhaps many are feeling that the economy can only get better moving forward into 2021,” said Thoran Towler, who chairs the EAA board of directors. “In fact, fueling that optimism, 57% of executives project slight
to significant increases in sales and revenue.
American businesses are showing their resil- ience and readiness to tackle today’s challenges and come out stronger than ever before.”
An additional 11 questions were added to this year’s survey regarding COVID-19’s impact on business, addressing employee safety, stay-at-home measures and social distancing,
remote work, online interviews and training, hazard pay and bonuses, and candidates who are unwilling to work in the office or out in the field.
When asked how concerned respondents are regarding COVID-19 and its impact on busi- ness continuity (specifically the supply chain,
 Top five measures employers are taking to address COVID-19, and are planning to continue next year
  Deep-clean and disinfect work areas on a regular basis
Enforce policies regarding employees who become ill or exhibit COVID-19 symptoms while at work
Communicate frequently to employees about self- screening protocols
Increase signage regarding COVID-19 prevention protocols
Enforce policies to accommodate employees who need to remain home due to underlying health issues
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