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Houston Business Barometer Week 7: Short-Term Outlook Improving Among Local Firms

Published May 20, 2020 by A.J. Mistretta


More local companies say their short-term outlook is improving as reopening efforts continue, according to the latest survey from the Greater Houston Partnership. 

Just over 32% of the companies that responded to this week’s Houston Business Barometer survey said their firm’s short-term outlook was better this week than last week. About 53% say their outlook is about the same this week as last week while another 15% say their outlook is worse. 

About 38% of respondents said their operations have been severely impacted by the pandemic, down slightly from last week’s results. Another 30% report a moderate impact on their operations. Nearly 29% said their revenues have declined since their last billing cycle. 

Approximately 27% of companies said they had partially or fully reopened their previously shuttered operations in recent weeks, while another 18% said they had not reopened yet. Fifty-four percent reported they never halted operations. 

When it comes to recalling employees who have been working from home back to the workplace, 8.1% said they had recalled all of their employees and another 26% said they had recalled some of their employees back to the office. Fifty-nine percent said they had not recalled any work from home employees and another 7% said they never offered a remote work option. 

Nearly three-quarters of respondents to this week’s survey say they did not furlough employees during the shutdown. About 7% said they have recalled some of their furloughed employees and nearly 19% said they have not yet recalled any furloughed employees. 

Asked what elements of their business they might reassess in response to their COVID-19 experience, the top three answers among respondents this week remained: telecommuting practices, technology needs and office design/layout. 

A total of 87 companies responded to the seventh Houston Business Barometer survey conducted by the Partnership between May 18 and 19. 

See results from Week 6.  

Get information and guidelines on reopening businesses safely from the Partnership's Houston Work Safe Program. Visit the Partnership's COVID-19 Resource page for updates, guidance for employers and more information.

Executive Partners