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Caribbean business leaders concerned about new COVID-19 wave

Caribbean business  leaders concerned about new COVID-19 wave
Mike Bynoe

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As businesses bring people back to work sites that have fundamentally changed, PwC’s latest COVID-19 CFO Pulse Survey reveals their greatest concern is a new wave of coronavirus infection (64%). This concern is closely followed by the impact of a global economic downturn (61%).

The survey of 989 CFOs in 23 countries and territories, including over 40 CFOs across the Caribbean
of which almost one third are based in Barbados , was conducted from June 1 to 11. It’s clear from PwC’s sixth COVID-19 CFO Pulse Survey that CFOs are focusing on regaining their footing, rebuilding revenue and reshaping their businesses.

The majority of CFOs surveyed in the Caribbean expect COVID-19 to decrease revenue/profits by
10% or more (66%), with 11% stating while they expect a decrease, the range is unknown and 2%
saying the impact is too difficult to assess at this point. Most Caribbean CFOs (70% compared to
63% globally) cite offering new or enhanced products or services as most important to rebuilding
or enhancing their revenue streams. None are considering making cuts to digital transformation
or cybersecurity.

Mike Bynoe, PwC East Caribbean territory leader, said: “Finance leaders are shifting their focus to
how they can create sustainable business models that can adapt to the new realities of working and doing business in a challenging world of uncertainty. In many cases this will mean innovating new products and services that will work for consumers amid continued social distancing and other health and safety measures. Companies will also need to implement the right measures to keep their employees safe and look at new ways of working to survive and thrive moving forward.”

He adds, “ Navigating the on-going effects of COVID-19 will be a long road but we’ve already seen here in Barbados and across the East Caribbean, that businesses in general are adapting successfully. This is particularly evident in those that have embraced a digital mindset, and will continue to do so. With a growing importance on rebuilding revenue, they need to also listen to their customers, innovate products and services and offer a new experience rooted in technology.”

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