Workforce Windsor Essex is continuously gathering information on the local labour market in Windsor-Essex. To gather input from local employers, an annual survey is conducted to gather information on hiring needs, retention challenges, and training strategies.
As part of International Economic Development week in Windsor-Essex, Workforce WindsorEssex, St. Clair College, and Invest WindsorEssex conducted the Windsor-Essex Economic Development Survey.
The survey received 280 responses from local businesses, the majority of which were from the Retail and Manufacturing sectors. Of the 280 responses, 41% were from micro businesses, which have between one and four employees.
This annual survey, which was conducted from April 8-30, 2021, identifies the needs of businesses and assists economic development professionals to develop strategies that will support businesses to stay, grow, and become more competitive.
The pandemic undoubtedly had an impact on respondents and has shaped how they do business. A total of 43% of respondents have all employees in the workplace, while 12% of respondents noted that they will continue to operate their businesses remotely on an indefinite basis. Moreover, 46% of respondents added a new product or service related to the pandemic to their business.
Survey respondents varied in their experiences with the pandemic. While 48% of respondents reported no attitude change about doing business in the community since last year, 24% feel more negative since last year. Of the respondents, 118 businesses reported they plan to expand and seven indicated they will be closing. The top barriers to growth in the region were identified as closure due to the pandemic, marketing, and capacity limits due to the pandemic. The cost of electricity, development charges, and the cost of space for rent or lease were identified by respondents as the most negative factors in doing business in the community.
On the brighter side, 75% of respondents feel that the Windsor-Essex region is an Excellent or Good community in which to do business and most positively ranked the following factors: availability of adequate electricity and availability of natural gas.
View results from past employer surveys here.