A pedestrian walks past an empty store front in Montreal, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

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

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum. (Now-Leader file photo)
LETTER: Nobody in Surrey believes Doug McCallum and his half-truths

Policing promises remind me of mayor’s vow to build SkyTrain at half the projected cost

Tom Jackson and bassist Kirby Barber in a trailer for "The Huron Carole," from video posted to youtube.com.
Tom Jackson’s ‘Huron Carole’ concert in White Rock goes virtual to feed hungry Canadians

Surrey broadcast date of Blue Frog-recorded show is Friday, Dec. 11, to benefit Surrey Food Bank

Pastry chef Eric Fernandez stands alongside some of his many creations at Popup Patisserie, a pop-up pastry shop on 176th Street that will be open until the end of December. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Popup Patisserie opens in Cloverdale

Handmade holiday pastries shop located on 176th Street

The COVID-19 test centre at Peace Arch Hospital is located on the building’s south side. (Tracy Holmes photo)
South Surrey woman calls for consistency in COVID-19 post-test messaging

‘Could we just get one thing straight?’ asks Deb Antifaev

(Photo: Amy Reid)
VIDEO: 2020 Community Leader Awards recognize Surrey’s unsung heroes

They don’t often receive recognition and don’t necessarily have a high profile in the community

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Barrels pictured outside Oliver winery, Quinta Ferreira, in May. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

An employee of the Adventure Hotel was taken to hospital on Nov. 20 after she confronted a customer of Empire Coffee about not wearing a mask. File photo.
Nelson hotel employee suffers heart attack after being assaulted in anti-mask incident

An accountant at the Adventure Hotel is in hospital in Kelowna

Most Read