Stay Ahead: Insights from APCO

Economic Endgame: Recession Resilience; Responding to Stimulus; Rebounding Stronger

The path through the COVID-19 pandemic and recession is perilous for businesses of all sizes, scopes and sectors. Join APCO and Oxford Analytica on Thursday, April 2 at 9:00 AM EST for a webinar event to discuss economic scenarios for businesses in 2020, insights from the frontlines of the corporate response around the world and long-term considerations to position your business in the wake of the pandemic.

RSVP for this exclusive webinar event here.

Managing the Coronavirus Crisis: Securing Global Stimulus Funds

APCO's Frank Lowenstein and Anna Tunkel introduce the APCO Global Stimulus Team, designed to help businesses understand stimulus efforts introduced as a result of COVID-19 and position themselves for relief measures:
Middle East Lights

"In the face of the unprecedented world health crisis, we have witnessed remarkable global mobilization at international, national, and local levels to provide economic relief to businesses across all sectors.

Seizing these opportunities will require businesses to move quickly and effectively. For potentially eligible companies, it is critical to understand all of the options available and to move as efficiently as possible to apply for and receive the funds which they are entitled to, and to position themselves for relief under future stimulus packages."

American Awareness: APCO Survey of Public Attitudes

APCO continues to track Americans’ attitudes and behaviors related to COVID-19 in a series of weekly polls with this second installment of a week focused on consumer attitudes towards brand communications and job security during the outbreak.

To recap: Americans are receiving more communications from brands during the COVID-19 outbreak than before, and a majority want this frequency to continue or increase.​
  • 2-in-3 are hearing from brands “very often,” primarily through e-mail (75%) and Facebook (46%)
  • Millennials (48%) seek are seeking more frequent communications from brands than other generations
  • Gen-Z (46%) also want to hear more from companies during the crisis
Click here to read the complete findings from APCO Insight.


As consumers and governments look to the business community to support pandemic relief efforts, many business leaders are taking bold steps to do their part. Many businesses are donating face masks and other personal protective equipment in bulk to address local shortages in the hardest hit areas. In China, companies quickly responded from the onset of the outbreak, taking actions to activate critical services, infrastructure and networks to support epidemic relief efforts. Others have taken the decision to halt their own production and repurpose factories to produce hand sanitizer. A growing number of U.S. CEOs are making more personal decisions, forfeiting their salaries and bonus packages to help cushion the economic blow and show solidarity with workers and staff, some of whom are likely to be the most affected by growing mass layoffs.
While certainly a challenge, the COVID-19 pandemic also presents opportunities for companies and business leaders alike to lead by example and serve their communities. Effectively communicating these leadership initiatives is more important than ever to answer to an engaged public seeking information on the impact of the pandemic throughout their daily life. APCO research conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic showed that future purchase decisions can be swayed by the way a business treats their employees during the crisis. Consumers also favor proactive actions by businesses to communicate the steps they are taking, especially from CEOs .


After more than two months of lockdown, China is on the frontlines of the global recovery. Keen to encourage a full-fledged return to normal business operations, China began to lift its lockdown on the epicenter of Hubei province last week, with the lockdown imposed on the city of Wuhan to be officially lifted on April 8. At the same time, China is taking measures to increase entry restrictions and quarantine measures to manage the risk of imported cases and reduce the likelihood of a second outbreak, including the temporary suspension of entry of foreign nationals holding visas or residence permits. Aviation authorities also expanded restrictions to limit the number of international passenger flights to one route per country each week, effectively closing China’s borders.

China's compounded loosening and restricting is reflective of the likely challenges national governments will face as the COVID-19 pandemic enters different stages around the world. Fears of a second wave of outbreaks are also likely to complicate global economic recovery efforts, even after community transmission subsides. These fears also create increased challenges at home: China's decision to lift restrictions was met with backlash, as portions of society remain doubtful that the situation is under control. Just as officials paid attention to how China was handling the coronavirus, China's difficult return to normalcy is a developing case study for individuals, businesses and governments to predict what's ahead. 

Some Positive News

  • Acts of kindness: From Jack Ma and the Chelsea football club to local Facebook groups, it’s not all doom and gloom, South China Morning Post 
  • Promising drug access expansion: Gilead expands access to experimental coronavirus drug in emergency cases, Axios
  • Collective intelligence: Connecting governments, experts and citizens around the world, collective intelligence is helping us to better address the fast-evolving and complex global pandemic, World Economic Forum
  • Blue skies: India plunged to its lowest levels of air pollution, on the sixth day of its nationwide lockdown, NDTV
  • Education with a smile: Sesame Street's Elmo and Cookie Monster are featured in four new animated public service sports to encourage children to stay healthy during the pandemic, Associated Press 

More Tips from Around the Water Cooler

  • How the coronavirus will act as a wake-up call for supply chain management, Harvard Business Review
  • What does the coronavirus crisis mean for unemployment in America?, Brookings Institution (podcast, 8 minutes)
  • How to read the news like a scientist and avoid the COVID-19 ‘infodemic', World Economic Forum
  • Don’t need that $1,200 stimulus check? Here are a list of charities to donate to, The New York Times
  • Your ultimate guide to Zoom: How to get the best tips for virtual backgrounds, lighting and other hacks, Forbes


“When there is community trust in the government, then things will happen...because you can ensure community ownership and empowerment. This is everybody’s business...each and every one of us must contribute."

        - Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization Director-General
The APCO team is working with clients globally to manage this crisis, and we stand ready to support your needs. For more resources from APCO, including our latest research, information on how we can help or to contact us, visit