Siena Survey: Upstate New York CEOs Pessimistic

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ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – Many CEO’s in Upstate New York say that economic conditions have worsened during the pandemic, and a number of them are still pessimistic for the rest of this year.

That’s according to a recent survey by Siena College which surveyed more than a thousand business leaders from across the upstate area from January through March.

Don Levy is director of the Siena College Research Institute. He said this survey shows that 80% of CEOs say that economic conditions worsened since the beginning of the pandemic, and 43% of them believe conditions will get worse this year, while 17% say conditions will remain about the same.

“The arithmetic is brutal, overwhelmingly they say that the cost of doing business is up, but my revenues, my profits, are down. So, it has been a year of experiencing tremendous hardship and loss for most of upstate businesses,” Levy said that only about 40% of the CEOs surveyed believe economic conditions in upstate NY will improve this year.

Levy does think that a number of these business leaders could see their outlook brighten later this year.

“I think with stimulus money out in the marketplace, with people being vaccinated, with more and more of our lives returning towards normal, that business will pick up and I think 2021 is going to be a little bit of a better year than (the CEOs) we interviewed in this survey, at least over the winter when we spoke to them, (had) predicted,” Levy said.