2021 CEO Survey

Mid-Market Companies

When COVID-19 struck, Leaders Who Leaned in were Rewarded

Much like businesses across the globe, the pandemic has had a profound impact on those operating mid-market enterprises in the United States. Amidst a year of upheaval and uncertainty, the most agile mid-market leaders employed a cross-section of tactics to survive and, in some cases, thrive.

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Executive Summary

In early 2021, Newport asked almost 100 mid-market CEOs, across multiple industries throughout the United States, to share their experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic.

We surveyed them across a variety of topics – from impacts on their business to current priorities. Our study confirmed that, as our traditional life ground to a halt in almost every region of the world, mid-market businesses were hit hard.

But entrepreneurship, flexibility and creativity are second nature to mid-market leaders. While the pandemic created an incredibly challenging business environment, many of them rose to the challenge – quickly making operational adjustments and deploying an array of incremental changes, that in many cases, resulted in growing their business.

In Newport’s report, we examine how mid-market leaders have navigated the business environment created by the pandemic, the impacts on growth, profitability and transactions (M&A) activity, and the way forward in the post-pandemic business environment.

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Key Findings

For the purposes of this report, the mid-market is defined as private, growth stage companies with revenues between US$10-150M.

The more aggressive companies who employed multiple tactics were rewarded with

Stronger Performance

Top 3

Business Priorities

Revenue Growth

Customer Experience

Employee Wellness

OVER 50% M&A
TRANSACTIONS DELAYED

57% DELAYED
13% ACCELERATED

COVID Business Impact

15%

Positive

Businesses whose CEOs utilized
Experienced Executive Advisors or Advisory Panels
Outperformed those that did not

How Newport can help

Newport is a strategic business advisory firm, working with founders and CEOs of privately held, growth-stage companies to accelerate growth, improve performance, and successfully exit their businesses.

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