Montréal, April 8, 2020 – The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal has released the highlights of its third survey on COVID-19 to ascertain companies’ changing concerns and needs in relation to labour and liquidity issues as well as their opinions about government measures that have been announced since March 26, particularly the Government of Canada’s wage subsidy program.
The survey of 291 respondents – 91% of whom represent SMEs – shows that the crisis is having a significant impact on companies’ liquidity and that this pressure is increasing. In fact, 81.1% of respondents said that they were experiencing a significant or moderate impact on their liquidity, for a 6.1% increase since our March 18 survey. The situation has continued to worsen since the start of the crisis, and over half of respondents (51.6%) have had to lay off or dismiss staff, which represents an 18% increase since the March 18 survey.
While the survey shows that the wage subsidy program announced by the Government of Canada at the end of March has indeed caught the attention of businesses – as 97.6% of respondents indicated that they were aware of it –, the requirement of a 30% loss of revenue to access the program poses a major challenge. In fact, 45.2% of respondents stated that, even though they have been negatively affected by the crisis, they cannot demonstrate a 30% loss in income over last year's reference period. Furthermore, 26.8% of respondents said they needed more clarification to determine whether they are eligible for the wage subsidy.
Two out of four respondents believed that the most useful relief measures out of all those offered to businesses are loan guarantees and human resources measures. However, taking on debt is a major concern. Assuming that normal activities are resumed in mid-May, 18% of respondents believe their business can survive but fear an unsustainable debt level if they use loan guarantees. This is in addition to 25.9% of respondents who stated that their business could manage if they could spread out loan repayments over more than one year.
The survey revealed that 45% of respondents have had trouble paying their fixed costs since the start of the crisis, and 59% expect to have problems covering these expenses for May 1.
This survey data was collected from Friday, April 3 to Tuesday, April 7, 2020. The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal will continue to regularly survey the members of its network in the coming weeks.
About the survey
The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal conducted this online survey among its members and network from April 3 to 7. The survey was designed to ascertain companies’ changing concerns and needs in relation to labour and liquidity issues as well as their opinions about government measures that have been announced since March 26, particularly the Government of Canada’s wage subsidy program.
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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