The United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR) released the results of its second survey report on the impact that the pandemic has had on local businesses. Overall the report notes that the situation is improving though some sectors are still struggling with their recovery.
“It was important for us to take the current pulse of the business community,” stated Carole Lavigne, UCPR director for economic development and tourism, “and ensure we had the most relevant data to properly plan and organize the (regional) economic recovery. That being said, the Prescott and Russell Economic Response and Recovery Plan, which is based on the data collected through these surveys, is progressing very well and should be available by the end of the summer as planned.”
The UCPR, in partnership with its eight municipalities, conducted its most recent pandemic impact survey during the period from July 8 to 15, and received responses from 279 local entrepreneurs. The second survey is a follow-up to a previous survey done during May this year.
Results of the second survey indicates that businesses in the region « seem to be regaining confidence in the future” and that many are either back to normal operations or have developed and pursued new outlets for their operations. The number of local businesses who reported successful adaptation to the pandemic situation is 21 per cent higher than those reporting success during the first survey conducted in May.
One problem noted in the second survey results is the “significant decline in cash flow” that many local businesses experienced during the early months of the pandemic and which presents their greatest risk and challenge now. The second survey report observed that several sectors, including retail, manufacturing, arts, entertainment, and recreation still describe the situation for them as “critical” as they continue to work towards recovery from the pandemic.
Survey results note that hiring projections are more encouraging now. More than a quarter of employers taking part in the survey indicated they expect to hire new staff over the next six years.
Many survey participants also stated that there is still a need for more financial support of business and more projects or programs that promote local shopping for goods and services to help businesses in the region with their economic recovery. Restoring consumer confidence in local businesses is a key factor to future economic recovery in the Prescott-Russell region.
The full report, titled Evolution of the Impacts of COVID-19 on Prescott and Russell Businesses, is on the UCPR website or at http://ow.ly/V67q30r1cdn.