Montréal, January 29, 2021 – The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal has unveiled the highlights of its first survey for 2021 about the priorities of Greater Montréal businesses for the coming year and the impact of current health measures. Respondents also weighed in on the effectiveness and maintenance of government aid measures and defined their business priorities for the year.
Second wave increasing the pressure on already fragile businesses
The effects of the second wave and health restrictions continue to leave surveyed businesses vulnerable, particularly in terms of debt. This is evidenced by the fact that a quarter of respondents are not sure they would survive another three months to one year if the current restrictions were extended.
In total, over 80% of those surveyed who identify as senior management or business leaders anticipate that their debt will remain stable (53.1%) or increase (27.1%) during the next year. In this same category of respondents, less than one quarter (21.7%) foresees a reduction in investment in their business, and one third (31.2%) anticipates reducing office space in the next year.
Worthwhile aid measures, which must reflect the needs of businesses
Government aid measures continue to be a lifeline for many of those surveyed. More than half of responding businesses (57.1%) plan to use aid programs during the next year, justifying keeping them in place as long as necessary. In total, 42.7% of respondents report having received the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), making it the most used aid measure of those listed in the survey.
The Government of Quebec’s upcoming budget is a great opportunity to offer more support to businesses during the crisis, according to the following priorities of those surveyed: invest directly in the economic relaunch (66.8%); avoid increasing the business tax burden (46.9%); and rethink or expand existing aid programs (42.8%).
Business priorities to guide the relaunch
Beyond the current period of health restrictions, survey respondents have defined their business priorities for the next year. In first place, 64.4% of respondents expressed the desire to invest more in innovation and increasing their productivity, while 59.6% want to strengthen internal talent development, particularly through support for continuing education. Strengthening the organizational culture ranked third in the business resolutions of companies surveyed, with 47.5% of respondents.
A highly anticipated vaccination campaign
In the wake of the kick-off of the vaccination campaign, businesses surveyed believe that vaccination will be highly anticipated by workplaces. In fact, 91.7% of respondents anticipate that most of their colleagues and employees will get vaccinated for COVID-19, and 75.6% believe that employers will have a role to play in making their employees aware of the vaccine.
Survey data was collected from January 18 to 25, 2021. The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal will continue to survey members regularly in the coming weeks.
About the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (CCMM)
With a network of over 8,000 members, the CCMM is active on two fronts: being the voice of the Montréal business community and delivering specialized services to businesses and their representatives. With its finger on the pulse of current events, it acts on issues that are decisive for the prosperity of the city’s businesses. With the support of the Acclr experts, the CCMM’s goal is to accelerate the creation and growth of businesses of all sizes, at home and around the world.
Advisor, Media Relations
Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4042
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