Many restaurants have closed in response to COVID-19. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)

Businesses tepid toward B.C. COVID recovery plan, seek bold response: survey

Only 16 per cent of businesses were confident in B.C.’s restart plan and 47 per cent were not

The latest survey of businesses in British Columbia reveals few are confident the province’s $1.5-billion recovery plan will help them survive or succeed.

The survey of 1,401 member businesses from groups including the BC Chamber of Commerce, Greater Vancouver Board of Trade and Business Council of B.C. indicates owners want a bold, long-term recovery plan.

Only 16 per cent of businesses were confident in B.C.’s restart plan and 47 per cent were not.

Two-thirds of those surveyed were relying on some form of government support and owners were braced for a “second wave” of shutdowns or other problems if programs expire too quickly.

Some 28 per cent believed they’ll return to normal once programs end, 32 per cent expected to cut workers’ hours, 27 per cent anticipated layoffs, and one business in every 10 forecast either temporary or permanent closure.

Owners say payroll and wage supports must remain key components of B.C.’s recovery plan, along with fee and tax cuts.

The survey also identified expectations that the province must create better investment conditions.

Bridgitte Anderson, president and CEO of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, says business viability hinges on those measures.

Val Litwin with the BC Chamber of Commerce urges policy-makers to ”stay sensitive” to the vulnerability of the business sector.

“A bold economic recovery plan that helps small businesses compete is non-negotiable for a prosperous B.C., and when small businesses thrive so do communities and people,” Litwin said in a statement.

“Governments must keep focused on delivering their recovery plans swiftly.”

The survey, conducted with the Mustel Group, is the fourth in a series examining the effects on B.C. businesses since the pandemic flared in March.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

Surrey monitoring traffic as vehicles again clog city streets

Compared with city’s 2019 weekly average, deepest volume reduction was in late March with up to 46 per cent less vehicles

Art’s Scarecrow Festival returns in September

Sixth annual event will be different than previous events because of the pandemic

‘Lifting Hands’ mural on White Rock wall celebrates community’s COVID efforts

High school students, grads inviting health-care workers, emergency crews to add handprints

Surrey’s top cop is keynote speaker at Surrey Board of Trade AGM

Asssistant Commissioner Brian Edwards will be on deck at Tuesday’s ‘virtual’ meeting

Refund emails from City of White Rock a ‘phishing’ scam

IT staff work to nullify security breach in ‘classic phishing campaign’

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Face masks for teachers can impact learning on young children, experts say

Face coverings, mandatory in most indoor public places across the province, can help limit the spread of COVID-19

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

Most Read