There’s no question the only thing that’s going to put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic is an effective vaccine, and the good news is that we should have data from the various vaccines in their phase three trials in as soon as a few weeks. But even when a safe, effective vaccine is approved, it’s still going to take time to make and then to distribute to individuals. By the time the vaccine is widespread, it could be mid 2021 before we can return to life as we knew it before the pandemic. Noting this, it’s not unreasonable to expect more ebbs and flows as we navigate the next several months.
But according to a survey that was recently conducted by Comcast Business, if there is another spike in COVID cases later this fall and into the early winter, businesses are going to be much more prepared. Per the survey, 78 percent of small and mid-sized businesses have stated that they’re much better equipped to handle a second wave of COVID-19 cases. The survey, which polled 600 businesses, is a positive sign that these entities have done an adequate job taking the appropriate measures to keep both their workers and customers safe – even as most businesses expect to lose at least a quarter of their revenue compared to a year prior.
Aside from businesses taking on the virus with increased confidence, their resiliency is also good news for the economy as a whole, which has begun ramping up again after a steep downturn during the early days of the pandemic. The GDP fell more than 30 percent in the second quarter of 2020, but this survey is a good sign that the recession we’re currently in could be as short-lived as it was initially hoped.
There were some additional positive points worth mentioning that came out of the recent Comcast Business survey. For instance:
- About 75 percent of all businesses believe that their operations will return to what they were pre-pandemic within the next year.
- More than half of all small businesses don’t have any employees working from home.
So what can be attributed to this newfound optimism among the business community that was so absent just a few short months ago? A lot of it has to do with technology and what we now know about the virus. As we’ve been able to study it more, we know the biggest risk factors behind its spread and can take the proper measures to eliminate or minimize such. We also know that ventilation, air filtration and wearing a simple face mask works in minimizing the risk of infection.
It’s not a matter of if, but when things will return to normal – and much of this will be the result of an effective, widely distributed vaccine. But in the meantime, it appears that the business community is increasingly prepared to weather the storm.