Third survey provides updated picture of COVID-19 impact on Niagara’s businesses

Third survey provides updated picture of COVID-19 impact on Niagara’s businesses

Niagara’s Economic Rapid Response Team (ERRT) now has up-to-date information on the state of recovery of Niagara’s businesses, thanks to a recently completed Niagara COVID-19 Business Impact Survey – Part 3. The information will be used to help plan and advocate for resources, programs and policies to assist Niagara businesses in recovery.

This survey ran from March 29 to April 16, 2021 and was completed by 786 respondents from all 12 municipalities. 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.

Key findings

  • 81 per cent of businesses reported a loss of revenue in 2020. 354 businesses reported a combined loss of $388.5 million in revenue, an average of $1.1 million per business.
  • Businesses expect a prolonged recovery process, with 30 per cent expecting a recovery within 1 year, 22 per cent within 2 years, 24 per cent within 3 years, and 18 per cent in over 3 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
    • demand for products and services

To download the full report, please CLICK HERE.


“Niagara’s business community continues to struggle with the effects of COVID-19, and it is important that we continue to listen and respond to the needs and challenges they are facing. We have seen throughout this pandemic that our businesses are incredibly resilient, and given the right tools and support, have what it takes to thrive. I am hopeful that these results will give us the data we need to provide those supports.”

– Regional Chair Jim Bradley


“We know Niagara businesses have been hit hard from the pandemic, and we still face a long and difficult recovery. Our hope is that this data, taken together with our previous surveys, will help us better understand the immediate needs of businesses, and inform our support and advocacy efforts going forward.”

– George Spezza, Director, Niagara Economic Development

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