COVID-19: Survey shows B.C. businesses desperate for aid

GVBOT, BCBC, the BC Chamber of Commerce have partnered with the Mustel Group to collect and provide information to government, from businesses of all sizes, sectors and regions across British Columbia.

Information gathered will inform a holistic approach between government and society in acting on the COVID-19 pandemic. This report provides the key findings from the first survey taken by 1,938 business leaders between March 26th and April 1st, 2020.

Some highlights of the data include:

  • In the past two weeks alone, approximately half of the 1,900 businesses surveyed have experienced revenue decreases of 75% or more, while two-thirds have seen revenues drop by 50% or more.
  • Nearly one-third are planning to cancel or have had contracts or tenders cancelled, while a quarter will defer or cancel capital projects in the next two weeks.
  • Among those laying off staff, on average, organizations have laid off 43 employees. As B.C. businesses tend to be skewed to smaller businesses (less than 20 employees), the median or mid-point is much lower, at five employees.
  • More than 50% of businesses are concerned they will be insolvent or not have the fiscal capacity to restart their business.
  • Businesses are trying to pivot with 23% increasing efforts towards online, digital, or e-commerce options.
  • Businesses tend to expect the economic rebound in their market will be slow (55% versus 14% fast) but a sizable group is unsure (31%).


Press release

Media Coverage:

Vancouver Sun 1
Vancouver Sun 2
Business In Vancouver
The Province
BC Business


About this release:
The results are based on an online study among businesses in British Columbia conducted between March 26th and April 1st, 2020. A total of 1,938 leaders from businesses of all sizes, sectors and regions across British Columbia were surveyed. Click here to view data tabulations.