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COVID-19: New Poll Reveals Outlook On Economy From Chambers Of Commerce Leaders Nationwide

Massachusetts employees are going to cost business owners another $300 each come April.
Massachusetts employees are going to cost business owners another $300 each come April. Photo Credit: Pixabay

Although 90 percent of Chamber of Commerce executives said that business conditions in their municipalities have worsened, only 55 percent expect improvement before the end of 2021, according to a new poll by the Siena College Research Institute.

According to the poll, which surveyed 796 chamber of commerce members throughout the country over the course of August, 32 percent of executives felt that business conditons in their districts would deteriorate even further than they already have amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Sixty-one percent of those polled reported that their chamber's members were pessimistic about the economic future of their area's businesses. 

Only 23 percent of those polled said that it was almost certain that the U.S. would definitely pull back from this most recent recession by or before the end of 2021. 

Forty-three percent of those polled said economic conditions would likely improve--however, a less optimistic 34 percent said that it was not very or not at all likely that this current recession would recede.

“Chamber leaders are in the trenches with their members. Their fingers are on the pulse and over the last six months, that pulse is weak,” said Don Levy, SCRI’s Director. “Most see pessimistic looks on the faces of local business people and only just over half predict a better year ahead.”

The poll also asked chamber leaders about their satisfaction with the handling of the coronavirus pandemic by both their state and national governments; 

“Most chamber leaders from every region are satisfied with their state government’s response to the pandemic with leaders from the Northeast being most satisfied at a rate of over 80 percent,” Levy said. "Leaders from the South grade their state governments far higher than leaders from other regions. 

"While leaders from the South give the federal government a better rating than those from other regions, when it comes to managing the COVID-19 pandemic, a majority from every region is either not very or not at all satisfied with the federal response."

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