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COVID-19 Business Impact Survey Results Revealed, New Survey Launched

By PKED Comms

MEDIA RELEASE – Thursday, March 26, 2020

[PETERBOROUGH, ON]: Financial continuity, customer declines and staff not being able to work are the three major concerns for over 330 local businesses regarding COVID-19, based on the first results of #TeamPTBO’s Business Impact Survey.

#TeamPTBO (Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development, the Peterborough DBIA, the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, Community Futures Peterborough and Innovation Cluster – Peterborough and the Kawarthas) had issued a Business Impact Survey on Monday, March 16th to identify how the impact of COVID-19 will be hardest felt by the local business community

The service, retail, manufacturing and culinary sectors were the top four most responsive sectors in the survey.

“A sincere thank you goes out to all those businesses that took the time to participate in the first survey. We’ve heard you, all of you, loud and clear,” Rhonda Keenan, President & CEO of Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development, said. “We recognize that circumstances are changing rapidly in this new environment and we thank all businesses for doing their part by closing down when necessary, offering work from home solutions and immediately adapting their operations to mitigate the impact of this pandemic.”

The main takeaways from the 335 businesses that filled out the first Business Impact Survey from March 16-22 include:

  • Financial support, of some type, was the most-referred-to issue when respondents were asked about what specific assistance they required. Wage subsidies (revenue) for workers employed and owners unemployed (20%), interest leniency (8.5%), rent relief (6%) and deferral of taxes (3.5%) were the most mentioned topics.
    • Other respondents mentioned marketing assistance, human resources support and help finding workers as other needs in this crisis.
  • For the service sector, financial continuity and customer declines were the two largest concerns. Manufacturing has an almost equal distribution between financial continuity, customer declines, supply chain distribution and staff not being able to work. This could potentially signal a more diverse crisis in manufacturing. While retail and culinary sectors both placed more emphasis on financial continuity and customer declines.
  • The business sectors that participated the most in the survey were:
    • Service (37.65%)
    • Other [Disability, Event, Financial, Health, Legal, Marketing, Professional and Landscaping services] (27.06%)
    • Retail (20.88%)
    • Culinary (12.06%)
    • Manufacturing (6.76%)
    • Not-for-Profit (6.47%)

With this information in hand, leaders from #TeamPTBO have created a second Business Impact Survey, with more detailed and thorough questions for local businesses.

The survey can be filled out here:, and can also be found on PKED’s homepage at

“I can’t overstate how valuable local businesses’ input and feedback for this survey are to us. We need local business owners to be as forthcoming and transparent as possible about how this unprecedented pandemic is impacting their business and how #TeamPTBO can help with the creation of immediate and longer term solutions,” Keenan said. “All of the survey data and information will be used to communicate what specific needs are the most vital to the business community. These data sets will then be used to inform the programs and services set up by the Federal and Provincial government as well as local service providers such as Community Futures Peterborough to help local business rebound from this unfortunate situation.”

For additional information please contact Keaton Robbins, Corporate Communications Officer,
705.743.0777 Ext. 2116 or