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Coronavirus survey in Penticton, B.C., paints picture of local financial hardship

The city says 1,377 people took part in the survey, which was available online or through a call centre from April 8-16.
The city says 1,377 people took part in the survey, which was available online or through a call centre from April 8-16. Global News

A new survey says the coronavirus pandemic has negatively affected nine out of 10 businesses in Penticton, while more than one third of resident respondents say they lost their job because of COVID-19.

According to the city, 1,377 people took part in the survey, which was available online or through a call centre from April 8-16.

The survey targeted residents and business owners in the South Okanagan, and was presented to Penticton’s city council.

READ MORE: City of Penticton asking residents, business owners to complete surveys about impact of COVID-19

The city says it plans on using the survey to “help guide decision-making involving relief and recovery measures.”

“It’s clear that many in our community are struggling with financial hardship due to COVID-19,” said economic development specialist Andrew Kemp.

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“Our small businesses in particular are facing very real challenges and we are working closely with the economic recovery task force to build a path toward recovery.”

READ MORE: Peach Fest, Ironman among possible cancellations as Penticton mayor eyes the challenges ahead in 2020

The city said 1,047 Penticton residents responded to the resident impact survey, adding that more than one third said their employment has been impacted by COVID-19.

In addition:

  • 12 per cent are temporarily working from home
  • 10 per cent are temporarily laid off
  • 10 per cent own/operate a business that has been affected
  • 2 per cent are taking unpaid leave
  • 2 per cent have been permanently laid off
  • 1 per cent are taking sick days/unpaid leave

The city said of those who have been temporarily laid off, 38 per cent reported they believe they will be rehired before the end of the year, whereas 57 per cent were unsure and 6 per cent felt they would not be rehired.

As for the business portion of the survey, the city said 292 Penticton-based business owners responded. Of those, 91 per cent indicated their business revenue had been negatively affected by COVID-19.

Many B.C. small businesses fear for survival during COVID-19 crisis
Many B.C. small businesses fear for survival during COVID-19 crisis

Other highlights:

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  • 67 per cent said the economic impact to their business was “significant”
  • 16 per cent said the economic impact to their business was “substantial”
  • 69 per cent reported seeing a drop in revenues or deal flow
  • 52 per cent have had to temporarily/indefinitely shut down their office
  • 36 per cent have laid off staff
  • 48 per cent indicated they feel they can only continue for another one to three months under current conditions

“We would like to thank everyone who took the time to complete the surveys,” said Penticton mayor John Vassilaki.

“Your feedback will play an instrumental role in shaping how we move forward with important decisions to help our community and economy recover from COVID-19.”

Many Toronto businesses say COVID-19 pandemic could see them shutdown: Survey
Many Toronto businesses say COVID-19 pandemic could see them shutdown: Survey