COVID-19 Business Impact Survey Results

Mar 19, 2020


March 19, 2020, Vancouver, BC– The BC Economic Development Association (representing over 300 local, Indigenous, and regional governments in BC), the BC Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Small Business BC, and Community Futures BC, launched a survey on March 13 to understand specific impacts BC businesses are experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic – and hear their proposed solutions. As of March 18, almost 8,000 businesses had responded to the survey.

The data paints a dire picture of what businesses are experiencing now and what they expect to be facing in the near future

1. An overall summary of the data
2. A breakdown by region
3. A breakdown by size of business

Here’s the quick analysis:

  • 90% of businesses are “currently being impacted by COVID-19”
  • Of those impacted, 83% are seeing a “drop in revenue, business, or deal flow”
  • 91% anticipate a further “decrease in revenue in the near-term” [sic]
  • 73% of businesses expect their revenues will drop by 50% or more (with nearly a quarter saying revenues will drop by 100%)
  • Half of the respondents say they will be “temporarily shutting down” their offices.
  • 64% of respondents expect to reduce their staff by over half (with a quarter saying they will be reducing their staff by 100%)

The insights gathered here have been sent to both the federal and provincial government – and the intelligence you shared with us is helping shape how government reacts to this pandemic crisis in real time.

“It’s no question that public health has to be the number one priority at this time.” says Dale Wheeldon, President & CEO, BC Economic Development Association. “Our local business community provides us with a standard of living we are all accustomed to, and it’s important to support them now. We will need them there for us in the future. The survey results provide a good cross-section of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from across British Columbia. It clearly shows that SMEs are already experiencing a significant reduction in business, putting them and their employees at risk. Collectively we need to act now to implement measures like loan guarantees, flexibility with tax payments, development of programs to enhance economic development at the community level – recognizing that not one solution will fit all. BCEDA is a leader in disaster recovery and has led programs in BC, Alberta and the United States. We have already been providing tools and resources to communities and look forward to delivering more with the support of federal and provincial governments.”

Read the full BCEDA News Release

Find more COVID-19 Resources including BCEDA’s Resources for BC Businesses document, a one-stop resource pack for businesses & entrepreneurs across the province.

From legal concerns and continuity questions to regular #StartupChats & Export Development Canada webinars, the live document is being constantly updated.