The latest pulse check survey – conducted by the BC Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, and the Business Council of British Columbia – revealed the depth of concern that businesses have over the prospect of re-opening should the COVID-19 pandemic continue for the foreseeable future.
Key findings of the survey include:
- 43% of those surveyed stating they can only continue to operate for up to three months under current restrictions
- For businesses temporarily closed, only half (53%) expect to re-open once the restrictions are eased on workplace operations, while 38% are unsure, and 8% will not re-open
- The top operating cost or expenses were wages (64%), followed by rent (54%), taxes (34%), and goods and supplies (32%)
- Just over half of businesses believe the federal government programs announced to date will be helpful once implemented, but they are not helpful for 33% of businesses, primarily because they do not qualify for any programs or provide enough timely cash flow relief
- The majority of businesses (58%) are spending 10% or more of operating expenses on rent, with 42% spending 20% or more
- Businesses with under five employees are least likely (49%) to find federal programs helpful, primarily because they do not qualify
- Many businesses are not confident in their ability to restart or whether consumers will return. Key challenges to recovery identified are attracting customers/revenue (79%), having enough operating cash (55%), and rehiring staff (28%).