The survey was conducted among 300 local business leaders from July to August 2021
According to American Express research, almost 6 in 10 (59%) Singapore business leaders describe their companies as surviving. They unveiled the new waves of COVID-19 are their main challenge in 2021. In fact, 41% had considered closing their businesses from January to August 2021 due to pandemic volatility.
Nevertheless, most businesses remain cautiously optimistic about the future. For instance, 67% expect 2021 annual sales to increase compared to pre-pandemic annual sales in 2019—an improvement from 53% in 2020.
The top reasons for their optimism in 2021 are the increase in revenue from expanding their businesses online (46%), support from new customers (44%), and continued support from regular customers (40%).
In fact, 71% of respondents shared they are optimistic they can thrive in the new normal—with 76% having made adjustments to sustain their business in the next 12 months.
The top two changes businesses plan to make in the new normal are to focus more on e-commerce and communicate more with customers via social media.
At the same time, only 4 in 10 business leaders now have a clear long-term strategy compared to 8 in 10 before the pandemic. Among those who do not currently have a business plan, 23% cite the uncertainty from the pandemic as a key reason. Another 25% changed their business strategy to become more agile to better respond to changes, rather than focusing on long-term planning.
We’ve reported that Amex teamed up with US fintech to expand virtual card offering.