March 24, 2023 11:00am

The pandemic's long-term impact on Birmingham

Three years later: How Covid-19 is affecting businesses

Photo of Ty West
Birmingham, AL Correspondent

Most Birmingham leaders say their organization's revenue has completed recovered since the pandemic, but things are much different than they were before.

That's one of the big takeaways from this month's Power Poll, which looked at how Covid-19 has shaped the Birmingham economy over the past three years.

The unscientific poll found 70% of respondents said their employees are working from home more than they were before the pandemic — a trend that, if it continues, is likely to shape the future of downtown Birmingham and the area's commercial real estate scene.

Embracing remote work is one of many changes that took hold during the pandemic, and the Power Poll determined Covid-19's impact is having other long-lasting effects.

Nearly three-fourths of respondents said changes they made in response to the pandemic have become a permanent part of their business, such as the rise of remote and hybrid options.

But work-from-home setups aren't the only thing on the rise.

Nearly 60% of respondents said their revenue is higher now than it was before the pandemic, while only 18% said it is lower.

Of course, singificant inflation has cut into organizations' purchasing power — a trend that has cut into revenue gains.

Still, only 17% of respondents said inflation is their top challenge. Availability of talent (40%) and economic uncertainty (38%) represent more pressing concerns at the moment.

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About Power Poll: Power Poll asks questions of the most powerful, influential people in U.S. cities. It is not a scientific survey. But because the people responding to the surveys comprise the leadership structure of their cities, the results afford a fascinating glimpse into the thoughts, opinions, and beliefs of those in a position to make change. Power Poll is distinctly nonpartisan.

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