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Business leaders expect COVID-19 impact to get worse before it gets better: YPO survey

Almost all business leaders (82%) are expecting declines in revenues over the next six months, but one year from now, more than half (54%) expect no negative impact to revenues due to COVID-19

Ninety-five percent of leaders report taking action in response to COVID-19 Chief executives said this is a time to stay calm, focus on facts and communicate regularly with employees Business travel, new business development and revenues are the top areas where most say they are experiencing the biggest impact of COVID-19

YPO, the global leadership community of more than 29,000 chief executives in 130 countries, conducted an all-member survey to get a snapshot of the business impact of COVID-19 and gain insight into actions chief executives are taking as a result of this new business reality, a report published on the YPO website said. 

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This new YPO Chief Executive Global Surveyconducted between 10-13 March 2020 from over 2,750 respondents, found that most chief executives have already experienced a negative impact of COVID-19 on at least one aspect in their businesses, and many more chief executives anticipate things to get worse within the next six months before they get better. 

Other key findings of the survey show that business travel (87%), new business development (62%), and revenues (58%) are the top three areas where most chief executives say they are currently experiencing the biggest impact of COVID-19. Also, almost all business leaders (82%) are expecting declines in revenues over the next six months, but one year from now, more than half (54%) expect no negative impact to revenues due to COVID-19.

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Ninety-five percent of leaders report taking action in response to COVID-19. These actions include communicating more regularly with employees (68%), adopting new health and safety procedures (67%), cancelling major events (64%), and halting business travel (53%).

Chief executives, when asked for their open-ended advice for fellow leaders, shared this is a time to stay calm, focus on facts, continue to communicate regularly with employees and other key stakeholders, anticipate and make plans for both the short and long term, and stabilize supply chains.

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The members in this questionnaire sample are representative of the larger YPO population, come from 110 different countries, and range in age from 25-93. Roughly half of the survey respondents are from the United States.