Many restaurants have closed in response to COVID-19. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)

Many restaurants have closed in response to COVID-19. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)

Businesses tepid toward B.C. COVID recovery plan, seek bold response: survey

Only 16 per cent of businesses were confident in B.C.’s restart plan and 47 per cent were not

The latest survey of businesses in British Columbia reveals few are confident the province’s $1.5-billion recovery plan will help them survive or succeed.

The survey of 1,401 member businesses from groups including the BC Chamber of Commerce, Greater Vancouver Board of Trade and Business Council of B.C. indicates owners want a bold, long-term recovery plan.

Only 16 per cent of businesses were confident in B.C.’s restart plan and 47 per cent were not.

Two-thirds of those surveyed were relying on some form of government support and owners were braced for a “second wave” of shutdowns or other problems if programs expire too quickly.

Some 28 per cent believed they’ll return to normal once programs end, 32 per cent expected to cut workers’ hours, 27 per cent anticipated layoffs, and one business in every 10 forecast either temporary or permanent closure.

Owners say payroll and wage supports must remain key components of B.C.’s recovery plan, along with fee and tax cuts.

The survey also identified expectations that the province must create better investment conditions.

Bridgitte Anderson, president and CEO of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, says business viability hinges on those measures.

Val Litwin with the BC Chamber of Commerce urges policy-makers to ”stay sensitive” to the vulnerability of the business sector.

“A bold economic recovery plan that helps small businesses compete is non-negotiable for a prosperous B.C., and when small businesses thrive so do communities and people,” Litwin said in a statement.

“Governments must keep focused on delivering their recovery plans swiftly.”

The survey, conducted with the Mustel Group, is the fourth in a series examining the effects on B.C. businesses since the pandemic flared in March.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Local cyclist Max McCulloch catches air off a jump in the newly redesigned Organ Donor trail at Mount Work mountain biking park. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Mountain bikers lining up for Hartland’s newest trail

Revamped black diamond run ‘what the community needed’

The Maritime Museum of British Columbia’s Float the Boat fundraiser campaign is underway. The goal is to raise $25,000 in donations to help with the cost of running virtual programs and onsite operations. (Courtesy Maritime Museum of B.C.)
Maritime Museum of B.C. looks to Float the Boat in Victoria

Fundraiser proceeds will support multitude of virtual programs and onsite operations

Snow is sticking to the ground on Malahat Drive at Shawnigan Lake Road. (Drive BC)
Snowfall warning issued for Malahat

10 centimetres of snow expected between Goldstream and Mill Bay

Keygan Power with brother Quintin and mom Allison while camping the weekend before Keygan’s brain hemorrhage on Aug. 2, 2020. (Photo Allison Power)
Saanich teen ‘locked inside,’ regaining speech after severe brain hemorrhage

16-year-old suffers traumatic loss of function, still plays a mean game of chess

(Twitter/Ateachersaurus)
The Pachena Bay shoreline in 2013. (Twitter/Ateachersaurus)
This week in history: 9.0 magnitude quake struck under what is now called Vancouver Island

According to First Nations elders, the 9.0-magnitude quake in 1700 CE kick-started a tsunami

People walk along a pedestrianized zone of Sainte-Catherine street in Montreal, Monday, May 18, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. Newly released statistics point to a major drop in police-recorded crime during the first eight months of the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Crime down in first 8 months of pandemic, but mental health calls rise: StatCan

The agency says violent crimes such as assault dropped significantly

Cash and drugs allegedly found in a suspect’s possession following an arrest earlier this month in downtown Nanaimo. (Photo submitted)
Accused drug dealer arrested in Nanaimo carrying $20K, fentanyl, crack and meth

Terrance Virus, 39, being held in custody, scheduled to appear in court Feb. 1

(Pixabay)
B.C. teacher gets 1 day suspension after ‘aggressively’ throwing dumbbell at student

Documents show the weight would have hit the student if they didn’t catch it

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which cause COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
B.C. ramping up screening for faster-spreading COVID-19 ‘variants of concern’

B.C. has sequenced about 11,000 COVID-positive samples since last February

Shown is Quality Foods at 319 Island Highway in Parksville. The Island-based grocery chain announced on Jan. 25 it made a $2-per-hour pay premium, implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, permanent. (Mandy Moraes photo)
COVID-19: Quality Foods makes $2-per-hour employee pay premium permanent

Island-based grocery chain had extended increase twice in 2020

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP have arrested a prolific offender who is now facing more than 40 charges. (Black Press file photo)
‘Priority offender’ arrested in Cowichan Valley faces more than 40 charges

Tyler Elrix, 37, had a history of evading police; was ordered not to be in Vancouver Island

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Most Read