Windsor Essex COVID-19 Economic Task Force Releases Results of COVID-19 Business Impact Survey

Over 90% of businesses reported they immediately experienced a negative impact due to COVID-19

For Immediate Release
April 14, 2020

Windsor-Essex County, Ontario Canada – Today, 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%.

According to survey results, 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. Additionally, 66.3% of businesses consider enhancements to EI access or wage replacements for employees to be very or extremely important.

Aggregated data from the COVID-19 Business Impact Survey is available online via the Business Impact Survey Dashboard, and 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.

The COVID-19 Task Force will use survey findings to inform their ongoing work agenda to support local businesses being affected.


“Windsor-Essex, and the rest of the world, is facing a unique crisis at this time. With the data collected from the COVID-19 Business Impact Survey, the Windsor Essex COVID-19 Economic Task Force will be able to inform local planning and mitigate some of the business impacts of this pandemic in the region. Workforce WindsorEssex is proud of the work and resources that have been undertaken by all members of the COVID-19 Task Force and look forward to further analyzing the data and contributing to regional initiatives.”

  • Justin Falconer, Chief Executive Officer, Workforce WindsorEssex

“The responses on the COVID-19 Business Impact Survey give us tangible local data to help us contextualize Windsor-Essex’s economic status within the provincial and national economic landscape. Like all areas of the country, our region has experienced a significant economic blow with not a clear understanding of where bottom is. Regardless, our region has, and will continue, to work together to recover from this pandemic and subsequent recession. We have proven that time and time again, Windsor-Essex residents and businesses are resilient, determined, highly-skilled, and can adapt to change. To fully recover from our current state, we will all need to rely on those outstanding traits and skills to build a stronger and more diversified economy in Windsor-Essex.”

  • Stephen MacKenzie, Chair, Windsor Essex COVID-19 Economic Task Force; President and CEO, WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation

“The results of the COVID-19 Business Impact Survey provides us with a real-time understanding of the individual and collective needs of our local business community. The Windsor Essex Economic Task Force is committed to supporting businesses by communicating this information to government and its stakeholders. Ongoing assessments, such as this survey, will allow the task force to gauge the pulse of the region now and in the months head and quickly identify businesses who can scale up or pivot their operations to contribute to the government’s fight against COVID-19.”

  • Natasha Marar, Business Advisor, Small Business Centre, WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation


MEDIA Contact:

Ryan Donally
Windsor Essex COVID-19 Economic Task Force
Mobile: (226) 346-8919


The Windsor Essex COVID-19 Economic Task Force was established March 18, 2020 and is comprised of 40 members who represent a broad cross-section of industries in Windsor-Essex, Ontario Canada. The Task Force is sub-divided into six separate committees, each with upwards of 15 members.

The mission of the Windsor Essex COVID-19 Economic Task Force is to collect, coordinate and disseminate information on strategies, programs, and other remedies that are available to mitigate the impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the economic well-being of workers, entrepreneurs, businesses and the regional economy. The Task Force has, and will continue to, strategize and formalize re-ignition plans for their respective industries in the context of the overall Windsor-Essex, provincial and national economies.  Learn more at