HPAC Magazine

StatsCan Survey: Nearly One in Three Businesses Report Q1 Revenues Down 40% or More Versus 2019

April 29, 2020 | By HPAC Magazine


(Adobe Stock)

A new Canadian Survey on Business Conditions, a collaboration between Statistics Canada and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, reveals the collective responses from over 12,600 businesses across all business sectors who took part in an online questionnaire about how COVID-19 is affecting their business. The survey was conducted between April 3 – 24.

Nearly one-third (32.3%) of businesses who responded to the survey reported that their revenues from the first quarter of 2020 were down by 40% or more from the same quarter a year earlier. Another 21.2% of businesses reported their revenues had decreased by 20% to 40% over the same period.

Across the country, over half of businesses in Alberta (57.7%), Ontario (56.3%), British Columbia (54.8%), Newfoundland and Labrador (53.5%) and Saskatchewan (52.8%) saw declines of 20% or more in revenue. While close to one-third of businesses in Prince Edward Island (33.1%), the territories (32.4%) and New Brunswick (30.3%) reported either no change or an increase in revenue.

Over one-quarter (28.6%) of businesses requested credit from financial institutions to cover operating costs due to revenue shortfalls caused by COVID-19. Financial institutions either fully or partially approved over three-quarters (77.3%) of these requests. In terms of businesses that pay rent, one-fifth (20.0%) had their rent deferred.

Just under two-thirds (64.8%) of businesses reported being highly affected by lower demand for their products or services, while nearly half (48.5%) of businesses reported being highly affected by the need to cancel services they offered.

The March 2020 Labour Force Survey reported that 1.3 million Canadians were away from work due to COVID-19. In addition, 2.1 million people worked reduced hours. Almost two-fifths (38.1%) of businesses reduced staff hours or shifts, while two-fifths (40.5%) of businesses reported that they laid off staff.

Nearly one-fifth (18.3%) of all businesses laid off 80% or more of their workforce. Of the businesses that laid off at least one employee, 45.2% laid off 80% or more of their workforce.

A significant proportion of businesses (27.0%) reported having implemented no changes with regards to staffing in light of COVID-19.

Over two-fifths (45.4%) of businesses reported having added new ways to interact with or sell to customers, while nearly two-fifths (38.1%) of businesses reported having increased the use of virtual connections internally.

Nearly two-thirds (62.3%) of businesses reported that they could re-open or return to normal operations less than one month after social distancing measures are removed.



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