Around 90 per cent of businesses in the accommodation and food sector say social distancing rules have impacted their businesses. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

Around 90 per cent of businesses in the accommodation and food sector say social distancing rules have impacted their businesses. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

COVID-19 survey: Some business revenues slashed by more than 70 per cent

Businesses in the accommodation and food sector especially hit hard by pandemic

New figures from Statistics Canada show more than half of all businesses say their revenues have dropped 20 per cent or more last month, with some recording declines of up more than 70 per cent, because of COVID-19.

These figures emerge from an online survey that drew responses from more than 12,600 businesses between April 3 and 24. Nearly one-third of businesses who responded to the survey said that their first quarter revenues dropped 40 per cent or more from the same quarter a year earlier. Another 21.2 per cent of businesses said their revenues had decreased by 20 to 40 per cent during the same period.

The decline was especially evident in industries such as accommodation and food services (72.6 per cent), arts, entertainment and recreation (66.7 per cent) and retail trade (60.3 per cent). Just over 40 per cent of businesses in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting reported either no change or higher revenues.

The survey also gives insights into how businesses are responding to the crisis both when it comes to their finances and staff.

RELATED: Canada lost more than a million jobs in March, but April may be even worse

RELATED: More than a third of Canadian workers fear losing job because of COVID-19

Over one-quarter (28.6 per cent) of businesses said they asked for credit from financial institutions to cover operating costs due to revenue shortfalls caused by COVID-19. Financial institutions have either fully or partially approved over three-quarters (77.3 per cent) of requests. In terms of businesses that pay rent, one-fifth secured rent deferrals.

In terms of staffing levels, almost 40 per cent of businesses cut staff hours or shifts, while the same number of businesses said that they had laid off staff, with almost 20 per cent of all businesses having laid off 80 per cent or more of their workforce. Of the businesses that laid off at least one employee, just over 45 per cent laid off 80 per cent or more of their workforce, confirming that small businesses with small staff are bearing the brunt of the pandemic.

A total of 1.3 million Canadians were away from work because of COVID-19 last month, with another 2.1 million working reduced hours.

Layoffs have been especially numerous in the accommodation and food services sector. Almost 70 per cent of businesses in that sector reporting layoffs said they laid off 80 per cent or more of their workforce.

Social distancing rules have also hit different parts of the economy. Around 90 per cent of businesses in the accommodation and food sector as well as the arts, entertainment and recreation sector say social distancing has hurt them. Businesses in health care and social assistance (87 per cent) and educational services (86.7 per cent) have reported comparable numbers.

Finally, the report notes that nearly two-thirds (62.3 per cent) of businesses say that they could reopen or return to normal operations in less than one month following the removal of social distancing rules.

In other words, it will take some time for ‘normal’ economic activity to resume once social distancing rules end.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Coronavirus

Just Posted

(Pxhere)
Mill Bay nurse suspended after using Tensor bandage to trap long-term care patient in room

Susan Malloch voluntarily agreed to a three-day suspension of her certificate of registration

Black bear cubs Athena and Jordan look on from their enclosure at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association in Errington, B.C., on July 8, 2015. Conservation Officer Bryce Casavant won the hearts of animal lovers when he opted not to shoot the baby bears in July after their mother was destroyed for repeatedly raiding homes near Port Hardy, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Supreme Court quashes review of North Island conservation officer who refused to euthanize bears

Bryce Casavant was dismissed from his job for choosing not to shoot the cubs in 2015

Francina Mettes and Thomas Schouten with the 200-page document they submitted in December of 2018. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Dutch 94-year-old facing unwanted trip home can stay in B.C.

Immigration offices cuts red tape so couple of 45 years can stay together in Victoria area

Scaredy Cats television series has turned Empress Avenue in Fernwood into a Halloween themed neighbourhood. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Trick or treat! Halloween comes to Fernwood in January

New television series Scaredy Cats filming in Victoria

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Abbotsford’s Skully White (left), who donated his kidney in December, has started a campaign to find other recipients and donors. The first candidate is retired police officer Gavin Quon. White owns and operates a hotdog stand, Lullys Food Experience, out of the Abbotsford Canadian Tire parking lot. (Facebook photo)
After donating his kidney, Abbotsford hotdog king starts donor campaign

Skully White donated his kidney to customer Tim Hiscock in December

Toronto-based director Michelle Latimer was recently scrutinized after years of claiming she was of Algonquin and Metis descent. (CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
Haida activist calls for hefty fines, jail time against those who claim to be Indigenous

Filmmaker Tamara Bell proposing the Indigenous Identity Act – to dissuade ‘Indigenous identity theft’

(File)
Man allegedly bites Vancouver cop during arrest for outstanding warrant

The officer was treated in hospital for the bite wounds

(File Photo)
Interior Health says COVID positivity rates in Fernie area actually 10-12%

IH say the rates are not as high as previously claimed by the region’s top doctor

Perrin Beatty, president and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, is shown during a news conference in Ottawa in 2015. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
Isolating provinces is a bad idea, says Canadian Chamber of Commerce

National business organization calls for cohesive approach to COVID-19 measures

Victoria police are seeking home surveillance video and witnesses following a prowling incident in Esquimalt Jan. 20. (Black Press Media file photo)
Esquimalt prowler removes air conditioner, peers into person’s home

VicPD is seeking video footage, witnesses following Jan. 20 incident

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Premier, health officials to discuss next steps in COVID immunization plan

Nearly 31,000 doses of vaccine the province expected by Jan. 29 could be curtailed due to production issues

Creekside Apartment building. (Kimberley Kufaas Photography)
New life being breathed into fire-gutted Port Hardy apartments

Half of the Creekside Apartment building reopens for tenants

Most Read