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Siena poll: Majority of upstate business leaders say focus on public health, not economy

Most CEO's from upstate New York said that the primary focus of the state should be public health, not the economic impact
Credit: WGRZ-TV

LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. — According to a new poll from Siena College, 57% of CEO's from upstate New York said that the primary focus of the state should be the public health side of the COVID-19 pandemic, not the restrictions it's placed on businesses.

While most business leaders say that they expect the economy to take a while to get back to where it was before the pandemic,  35 percent believe that their company will recover within six months.  Over three quarters of businuess leaders have members of their staff working from home. 

"The good news is that virtually all the CEOs we interviewed expect their business to survive this crisis. And 61 percent think that New York State’s ‘social distancing’ efforts, including restrictions on business operations in order to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 have been about right,” said Siena College Research Institute’s Director Dr. Don Levy. 

Nearly 60% of CEO's polled said they're confident that the federal government will help to get them through the uncertain times of the COVID-19 crisis. Only 46% of those polled think New York State will take steps to help businesses get through the pandemic.  

Seventy-two percent of the CEO's say they plan to participate in the federal SBA Paycheck Protection Program.Twenty-six percent of those polled intend to participate in the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. Nearly half of the CEO's said they're already borrowing money to meet ongoing expenses.

“Almost every CEO took steps to protect staff and clients from the virus, more than three-quarters have employees working from home, two-thirds have cancelled planned initiatives and almost half have borrowed in order to meet ongoing expenses. And 44 percent have had clients say that the check is not in the mail,” Levy said.

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