On April 14, 2020, the Windsor Essex COVID-19 Economic Task Force released the results from its COVID-19 Business Impact Survey, which asked businesses for input around current and expected impacts they are facing due the pandemic. The COVID-19 Business Impact Survey was open from March 22 to April 8, 2020 and received 575 responses from businesses in the Windsor-Essex region, with a completion rate of 72%.

Some key findings:

  • 92.7% of Windsor-Essex businesses that responded indicated that they immediately experienced a negative impact due to COVID-19, while 3.7% of businesses indicated they experienced a positive impact.
  • In terms of lay-offs, more than half (57.4%) of business respondents laid off employees temporarily and 28.2% laid off employees permanently.
  • Respondents recognized the need for some sort of intervention, with 73.4% of business respondents considering it extremely or very important for the government to consider a bigger economic stimulus package and 81.5% considering tax cuts and credits extremely or very important in addressing the crisis.
  • 66.3% of businesses consider enhancements to EI access or wage replacements for employees to be very or extremely important.

To view aggregated data from the COVID-19 Business Impact Survey, visit the Windsor Essex COVID-19 Business Impact Survey Dashboard. This data can be filtered by business size, sector, and municipality to create custom reports. Users are able to view how different factors shaped the impacts businesses have already faced and anticipate that they will face.

A follow-up survey was conducted from July 10th to August 5th, 2020 for businesses to address ongoing impacts from COVID-19. This survey focused on the use and interest of federal, provincial, and local government supports and initiatives. Respondents also outlined the challenges present with supporting remote workforces and how technology is impacting how their business pivots to new services and products.

Some key findings:

  • 91.3% of Windsor-Essex businesses that responded indicated that they felt a significant or some negative impact.
  • 29.9% of businesses are “open and operating at full capacity (even if remotely)” while 3.1% of businesses have permanently closed.
  • The most common business practices that have been adopted are:
    • mandating the use of masks in business premises
    • offering free sanitizer
    • limiting the number of patrons
    • allowing visits by appointment only

To view aggregated data from the COVID-19 Business Impact Survey, visit the COVID-19 Impact Survey Results page.