Thank you for participating in the COVID-19 Impact Pulse Check #4. We received 1,401 responses – and the results are available here.
Here’s what you told us
While British Columbia has entered phase three of its Restart Plan, two-thirds (65%) of businesses surveyed are using some form of government support. Businesses expect a substantial “second wave” of negative impacts should these programs expire too quickly.
Impacts on Businesses
- Impacts on businesses from the COVID-19 pandemic are similar to those reported in previous Pulse Check. The most common impact continues to be decreased sales volume, reported by 75% of businesses.
- 40% (higher proportion than in the past) reporting increasing operating costs, likely due to reopening or expanding operations. This level increases to over 50% of medium and large businesses.
- On the positive side, 36% (up from 31%) have increased their digital or e-commerce presence, and small groups have introduced new products or services (15%), advanced new marketing projects (10%) or advanced new research and development (6%).
BC Government Recovery Plan and Support
- Businesses are not particularly confident that when the province launches a recovery/rebuilding plan, the provincial government’s plan will help their business succeed through the COVID period (only 16% said they are confident or very confident that the plan will help them succeed)
- Two-thirds (65%) of businesses are using some form of government support program to assist during COVID. The most useful program has been the CEWS program, followed by CERB and CEBA (Canada Emergency Business Account).
- Only 28% of businesses on government support expect to return to normal once the government support programs end.
Workplace Changes/ Remote Working
- The key barriers to getting employees back to the office or workplace are social distancing requirements (38%) employees’ reluctance to return to the workplace due to safety concerns at the workplace (35%) and to a slightly lesser extent from getting to and from work (22%).
- In terms of lasting changes to their workplace anticipated as a result of COVID-19, the most common are increased reliance on digital means for communications, meetings, etc. (55%), and expanding or implementing work from home policies (44%). Considerable proportions also expect to reduce the number of employees at the workplace (31%), and reduce their office space needs (22%).