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

Just Posted

Trail RCMP report violent home invasion

Trail RCMP report violent break and enter

West Kootenay SAR crews rescue injured mountain biker near Rossland

Crews were called in to help after the biker seriously injured himself at around noon Saturday

Heads up: Trail resumes parking enforcement June 1

The city suspended parking fees March 31, resume meter regulations on June 1

Trail police catch speeders, deal with distraught man and animal calls

Trail and Greater District RCMP news brief from Sgt. Mike Wicentowich

City of Rossland looks to implement mail ballot voting

City said new procedure could make voting easier and more accessible for residents

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

COVID-19 checkpoints ‘up to them,’ Bonnie Henry says of remote B.C. villages

Support local tourism economy, but only if you’re invited in

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Eight people arrested in Victoria homeless camp after enforcement order issued

Those living in tents were given until May 20 to move indoors

Andrew Weaver says he was ready to defeat John Horgan government

Independent MLA blasts B.C. Greens over LNG opposition

Most Read