How Canadian Businesses are Adapting throughout the Pandemic

April 7, 2021

Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), and Palette Inc. put together three reports analyzing business trends throughout the course of the pandemic using Statistics Canada’s Canadian Survey on Business Conditions (CSBC). The reports focus on remote work, online sales, and employment and skills demands.

“The report’s findings provide great food for thought, in particular the role of digital transformation and upskilling/reskilling workers for the post-pandemic economic landscape,” said Winnipeg Chamber President & CEO Loren Remillard. “The reality is the world has changed in significant ways, in many cases permanently, and our competitors are changing in step. Businesses that embrace these changes will be best positioned to flourish in recovery.”

Some of the key findings within the report include:

Remote Work

  • Fewer Canadian businesses said remote work is possible for employees in 2021 (so far) than in 2020.
  • More businesses say they will require workers to come back to work on site (29%) than businesses planning to continue remote work options (17%).

Online Sales in Canada

  • Small businesses (1-4 employees) were more likely to earn the majority of sales online, but the larger the business, the more likely companies were to adopt or plan to adopt an online sales platform.
  • Despite the pandemic, the number of Canadian businesses making majority (+60%) of their sales online only rose 3% in 2020.

A Changing Skills Landscape

  • As businesses make critical investments into the future, including adopting new technology, some plan to hire staff with skills or knowledge that current employees lack.
  • More Canadian businesses anticipate decreasing, rather than increase, their number of employees over the next three months.

Remillard adds the report’s findings further validate The Chamber’s Rebuilding and Reimagining Manitoba Recovery Playbook’s key recommendations, which also include access to capital, government modernization and diversity equity and inclusion. The Recovery Playbook is available on The Chamber website HERE. 

Kevin Gill, President of Staffmax Staffing & Recruiting, says Manitoba has been strong and trending in the right direction.

“Staffing and recruiting has been super busy and the economy as a whole is picking up. We’re encouraged by the amount of permanent, temporary and contract work,” said Gill. “It’s been very promising to see hospitality and retail picking back up. Manufacturing has been behind, but is starting to make a comeback.”

Read the full reports and summaries HERE.