B.C. Restart Plan on the right track but lacking clarity for businesses

Today, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade is releasing the results of a member survey conducted by Mustel Group to assess the status of the business community’s pandemic recovery.

With the arrival of Step 2 of B.C.’s Restart Plan, positive momentum is building across Greater Vancouver with 64% of businesses feeling optimistic about their business projects this year compared to 24% who are negative or 12% neutral.

Businesses tend to believe the B.C. Restart Plan is on the right track in addressing the reopening of the provincial economy (59% right track, 21% wrong track, 20% unsure), but for 38% of businesses, the B.C. Restart Plan does not provide enough clarity for the upcoming months. Another 20% are unsure.

Notably, 31% of businesses are concerned about government support programs being phased out in the fall, 33% expect to lay off staff or reduce staff hours, and 26% expect to take on debt or loans. Further complicating recovery efforts, the struggle to find qualified applicants for job openings continues. A full 49% of respondents reported difficulty filling roles, and 48% said they anticipate problems going forward.

Other notable findings include:

  • The primary factor impacting businesses’ ability to grow (61%) was “COVID-19 and related restrictions” with “finding new customers / revenue” (44%) and “ability to hire qualified staff” (42%) rounding out the top three
  • The survey also showed approximately half (54%) of respondents that typically work from offices anticipate their office space requirements will decrease after the pandemic and, among those who used transit, three-in-ten (29%) are unlikely to use transit like they did before the pandemic.
  • Eight-in-ten (79%) respondents reported that they expect business to improve, and three-in-ten (30%) said they expect it to improve “significantly” over the next 12 months.

See the full survey results here




About this survey:

Mustel Group conducted a survey of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade’s members to measure opinions about BC’s Restart Plan and impacts of COVID19on businesses. A total of 175 members completed the survey from June 711, 2021. The margin of error on the sample is +/7% at the 95% level of confidence.