COVID-19: Impact on firms

COVID-19 has affected all parts of the world. The breadth and depth of the effects of the outbreak on the world population and its productive capacity remain uncertain. However, it is clear that many government measures to curtail contagion will have a direct impact on the private sector—including the hundreds of millions who derive their living from its activity. As part of the overall response of the Development Economics Vice Presidency (DEC) of the World Bank, the Enterprise Analysis Unit has been developing different approaches to measure the virus’s impact on the private sector.

The Indicators presented here provide a snapshot of the impact of COVID-19 on the private sector based on the Follow-up Surveys. 


The data collection focuses on 3 components.

Follow-up Surveys will be implemented by phone in countries with recent Enterprise Surveys (ES). The instrument measures changes in sales, employment and input purchases as well as financial responses, liquidity problems and policies that have been implemented to address these problems. The surveys will be administered to the full sample of the recent ES, which was drawn to be representative, and provide an estimate of the impact on the private sector.

The current survey instrunments and the proposal are available here: 


Indicator Descriptions



Covid-19 module for ongoing ES is being designed to measure the effect of the virus in countries where an ongoing ES is underway or planned. The additional questions for the on-going surveys are available here

Covid-19 module of informal businesses will supplement the standard informal questionnaire that has been used in recent years. It will assess how this often-marginalized sector has coped with and responded to the virus outbreak and its broader ramifications