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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Man battling cancer paints thank-you rocks for Abbotsford health-care workers

Dale Leguerrier creates more than 200 rocks for hospital and hospice staff

Chilliwack violent sex offender sentenced for breaching long-term supervision order

18-month term for Kevin Miller amounts to time served for using cannabis while ordered to abstain

COVID-19 outbreak declared over at Tabor Home in Abbotsford

Fraser Health reported on June 17 that resident had tested positive

Fundraiser seeks to buy ‘tiny home’ for Abbotsford woman with severe allergies

Katie Hobson cannot live in regular accommodation due to debilitating health issues

Recreational chinook openings leave First Nations frustrated on the Lower Fraser

Limited recreational openings for chinook on the Chehalis and Chilliwack rivers being questioned

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision on Trans Canada

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Would you take a COVID-19 vaccine? Poll suggests most Canadians say yes

75 per cent of Canadians would agree to take a novel coronavirus vaccine

Budget officer pegs cost of basic income as calls for it grow due to COVID-19

Planned federal spending to date on pandemic-related aid now tops about $174 billion

Most Read