A pedestrian walks past an empty store front in Montreal, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

More than half of Canadian companies seeing sales drop at least 20%: StatCan

Survey suggests nearly one in five businesses have laid off 80 per cent or more of their workforce

Statistics Canada reports nearly one-third of Canadian businesses who responded in a newly released survey have seen their revenues plummet by 40 per cent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A further one-fifth of businesses reported a revenue drop of between 20 per cent and 40 per cent, suggesting that more than half of Canadian companies have watched sales drop significantly since the crisis began in March.

That has led to widespread layoffs and furloughs, with the crowd-sourced survey results from more than 12,600 companies suggesting nearly one in five businesses have laid off 80 per cent or more of their workforce.

The highest proportion of businesses reporting heavy losses and large layoffs were in the accommodation and food services sector, as well as retail.

However, 62.3 per cent of businesses that took part in the survey say they could re-open or return to normal operations less than one month after public restrictions like physical distancing measures are removed.

The results are from an online survey this month done in tandem with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Statistics Canada says the study cannot be applied to the overall Canadian economy because the voluntary survey does not represent a random sample of the population.

In a statement, chief statistician Anil Arora says the results should help public and private sector decision-makers.

It has been some six weeks since public health officials asked Canadians to stay home and governments ordered the closure of non-essential businesses to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The impact on the Canadian economy has been swift with more than one million workers losing their job at the outset of the pandemic, and more than two million having the hours reduced. Since mid-March, more than seven million people have applied for emergency federal aid.

Heading into the crisis, 42.2 per cent of businesses in the survey said they couldn’t operate more than 60 days without a source of revenue, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce notes in a release.

The chamber’s chief economist, Trevin Stratton, says in a statement the data suggest thousands of businesses are quickly approaching permanent closures the longer restriction stay in place.

He says policy measures like an emergency wage subsidy, which opened for applications this week, and federally backed loans will help many businesses who are “on the clock.”

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronaviruseconomy

Just Posted

Métis communities make do with minimal financial aid from Trudeau; CBT offers support

Métis citizens in valley forged ahead thanks to support from local leadership and community groups

Radium’s beloved bighorn sheep herd on the decline

Advocates say safer streets needed

Flood evacuation in Fairmont; residents able to return home

Evacuation alerts remain in place for Fairmont Creek and Cold Spring Creek.

Copper Point Golf Course copes with COVID-19 safety measures

General manager says golf is one of few sports where implementing safety measures is fairly simple

Freshwater turtle sightings

Stewardship group wants to know where you’ve seen turtles in the Columbia Valley

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

B.C. ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Greater Victoria drive-thru window smashed after man receives burger without mustard

Greater Victoria Wendy’s staff call police after man allegedly rips Plexiglas barrier off window

Murder charge upgraded in George Floyd case, 3 other cops charged

Floyd’s family and protesters have repeatedly called for criminal charges against all four officers

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit was en route as whale broke free from prawn trap line

Racist incident shocks Vancouver Island First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP investigating after video shows truck wheeling through Tseshaht territory

Vancouver Island school principal mourns brother, cousin killed during U.S. protests

Jelks says he’s grateful for the outpouring of support from the community in the wake of this tragedy

Most Read