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Latest Engineering Snapshot Finds More Firms Reopening

June 9, 2020
SEVENTH WAVE: On May 27-29, the new ACEC Research Institute again surveyed member firms to measure pandemic's ongoing impact.


Washington, DC,  June 1, 2020 - In the ACEC Research Institute's latest member survey on the business impact of COVID-19, respondents were less optimistic about an imminent economic recovery, but a majority are now working in their offices. More than 535 members participated in the survey, which was conducted May 27-29.


  • Firms are slightly less negative about cash flow than in previous surveys. Firms with fewer than 25 employees were the most negative, with 42 percent saying their finances are worse and 43 percent saying cash flow is worse;
  • 23 percent of respondents were less optimistic about the economy returning to normal within six months, compared to 27 percent in the sixth survey (May 5-6);
  • 47 percent of respondents expect 12-18 months to pass before the economy returns to normal;
  • 76 percent of respondents rate the federal stimulus program (CARES Act) positively;
  • 89 percent of firms with fewer than 500 employees were approved for Paycheck Protection Programs (PPP) loans;
  • 71 percent of firms intend to use their PPP loan within the eight-week “forgiveness” window;
  • 79 percent of respondents said extending the PPP Loan Forgiveness window from eight weeks to 16 or 24 weeks would have a positive impact;
  • 16 percent of firms (up from 12 percent in the sixth survey) are working on new COVID-19 pandemic response projects. More than one-third of firms with more than 200 employees have COVID-19 response projects;
  • 61 percent of firms have either re-opened or never closed; 74 percent of firms have created a plan for re-opening, up from 42 percent in the sixth survey.

To read the executive summary, click here.


Contact: Jeff Urbanchuk, 202-374-7474, [email protected].

For more on the ACEC Research Institute, visit:

Launched in April 2020, the ACEC Research Institute is the new research arm of the American Council of Engineering Companies, the leading business association of the nation’s engineering industry.

The ACEC Research Institute’s mission is to deliver knowledge and business strategies that guide and elevate the engineering industry and to be the leading source of knowledge and thought leadership for creating a more sustainable, safe, secure and technically advanced built environment.