81% of surveyed Niagara businesses reported COVID-19 revenue loss in 2020

​A Niagara Region economic survey shows that 81 per cent of businesses reported a loss of revenue in 2020.

Niagara’s Economic Rapid Response Team showed that 354 businesses reported a combined loss of $388.5 million in revenue, an average of $1.1 million per business.

The survey, a third in a series, called Niagara COVID-19 Business Impact Survey – Part 3 ran from March 29 to April 16, 2021. It was completed by 786 respondents from all 12 Niagara municipalities.

That included responses from 49 Grimsby businesses, 40 Pelham businesses, 11 Lincoln businesses, 5 Wainfleet businesses, and 15 businesses in West Lincoln.

Other survey findings include:

  • Businesses expect a prolonged recovery process, with 30 per cent expecting a recovery within one year, 22 per cent within two years, 24 per cent within three years, and 18 per cent in over three years.
  • The top obstacles facing businesses included a slow return of customers, cash flow/increased debt loads, and hiring/training staff, among others.
  • Business indicated their immediate needs for the next six months included marketing and promotion, financial assistance, employee training, sourcing critical supplies, and hiring staff.
  • The top five factors reported that are negatively affecting workforces during the pandemic include employee mental health, ownership mental health, overall business stability, uncertainty regarding employment stability and demand for products and services.

The data gathered provides current business-level insight into the particular impacts on businesses, and will help Niagara’s economic development officials advocate for programs and policies that will support businesses in the recovery process. 

The survey follows two previous editions, the first completed in spring 2020, in the early stages of the pandemic, and the second in the fall of 2020. Taken together, the data will help create a long-range picture of the ongoing economic effects of the pandemic. 

The full survey results can be accessed here in this PDF.