January 27, 2021
CHAMBER WEIGHS IN WITH BUSINESS CONFIDENCE NUMBERS
Kelowna: Research reports published in December and January show business confidence in recovery flagging. While local businesses are definitely showing signs of wear-out as the pandemic-caused business shrinkage wears on, a few rays of hope are reported in the Thompson Okanagan.
In December, the BC Chamber conducted another in its series of “MindReader” Pulse Check surveys, to measure in detail how businesses are faring, and, how their confidence levels are measured as 2021 unfolds. The Pulse Check Thompson Okanagan cohort in the December survey showed:
• Despite the rising cases and new restrictions, 36% of businesses are feeling slightly more optimistic for the next 12 months.
• 22% expect to increase their employment levels in the next 6 months.
• Many businesses are still feeling a strain because of higher operating costs.
• Further government supports will be needed through 2021 to help get business on the road to recovery.
In terms of impact on their reporting business, negative outlook numbers were somewhat lower in Thompson Okanagan than province-wide: fewer reported decreased sales volumes; fewer reported increased operating costs; fewer had reduced staff hours. More, however, had laid off staff and fewer had introduced online or digital channels to conduct business.
“It’s important for our Chamber to see these up-to-date indications that businesses in our area, while suffering from pandemic-driven restrictions, may be slightly better positioned to recover this year,” said Jeffrey Robinson, President, Kelowna Chamber. “The best economic cure is literally the shot in the arm: once the vaccine works its way through the general population, business recovery will be swift. We continue to have conversations with both government bodies who can and must accelerate vaccine rollout in our region.”
For more information:
Dan Rogers, Executive Director, Kelowna Chamber of Commerce