Milwaukee Area Businesses Surveyed Confirms Pandemic Unparalleled Impact on Local Businesses

June 9th, 2020

Milwaukee Area Businesses Surveyed Confirms Pandemic Unparalleled Impact on Local Businesses
The COVID-19 worldwide pandemic has had a tremendous impact on businesses across the country and in the Milwaukee area and has created much uncertainty about the future. SourcePoint Staffing surveyed local manufacturing, distribution, business services, and financial service businesses over the course of two weeks, May 13th to May 26th, and obtained important perspective about how the pandemic has impacted business in the Milwaukee area.

Revenue and Backlogs Have Declined Dramatically for Most Businesses
The majority of respondents have been hit hard by the pandemic, over 65%, said that revenues have declined since March 1st; however, 13% of the respondents, primarily in the business and financial services sectors, experienced an increase in revenues. Of the respondents indicating a decline, 47% said the decline was greater than 11%, and about half indicated the decline exceeded 25%.

52% of respondents indicated their backlog had declined since March 1st, and 13% experienced an increase.

Workforces were Reduced, some may be Permanent
Approximately 43% of respondents reduced their workforce to manage costs responsive to revenue declines and another 27% to manage risks associated with COVID-19. Approximately 12% of the cost related reductions were greater than 10%, and 15% were greater than 25% of the workforce. Manufacturing and distribution businesses were harder hit than Business and Financial service companies.

Approximately 17% of the reductions are expected to be permanent and the remainder are expected to be restored. If the forecast becomes reality, the impact on a permanent loss of employment could be significant.

Physical changes to their workplace, outside of enhanced hygiene, were initiated by 54% of respondents to address exposure to COVD-19.

Businesses are Optimistic About Quickly Returning to Normal
Despite the overall significant decline in revenues and backlog, most respondents were optimistic that their business would return to normal and when; 60% estimate by the end of 2020 and almost 80% expect a return to normality by the end of the first quarter of 2021.

Working Remotely is Marginally Effective
Most respondents (83%) indicated their company was not required to close and work remotely. However approximately 57% chose to work remotely, of which 2/3 indicated it was either marginally or not an effective alternative. Manufacturing and distribution businesses indicated more difficultly working from home than other sectors.

Survey Take Aways
• The impact of the pandemic on most Milwaukee area businesses has been profound. Although some businesses experienced growth, most suffered unusual and unprecedented decline in revenues, backlog, and their workforce.
• Some reductions in workforce are expected to be permanent, which, if actually experienced, could have a long-term impact on greater Milwaukee in many ways.
• Despite the declines in revenues and backlog, businesses surveyed are optimistic about a recovery to normal by the end of 2020 or in the first quarter, 2021.

Graph of impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on revenue and order backlog in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

What is the impact of the Pandemic on Revenue and Order Backlog since March 1st, 2020?

Graph of impact of revenue decline from COVID-19 Pandemic on employment force in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Did your company have a reduction in employment force due to revenue decline?

Graph of impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on employment force in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Did your company have a reduction in employment force to manage COVID-19?

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