HSBC: COVID-19 impact felt more by Canadian businesses than those in other countries

by Ephraim Vecina22 Jul 2020

Canadian business tenants were found to be less resilient to the COVID-19 outbreak than their counterparts in other developed nations, according to a new survey by HSBC.

The study – which polled 2,600 companies worldwide, with Canadian entities comprising 200 of these – found that 85% of Canadian businesses were on some level prepared for the economic impact of COVID-19. This was significantly lower than the 92% seen among global companies, The Financial Post reported.

Only 22% of Canadian ventures managed to diversify their businesses once the pandemic took hold, which was markedly lower than the 29% global average.

Around 37% of Canadian business leaders said that they will focus on increasing their sustainability once the pandemic eases, lagging behind the global average of 44%.

An area in which Canadian businesses had a leg up was in terms of flexible/online working arrangements, with 70% saying that such systems would be in place for their workforce over the next two years. This is compared to 56% of global business leaders.

“This is an opportunity for Canadian businesses to look back and understand the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dan Leslie, deputy head of commercial banking at HSBC Bank Canada. “With markets worldwide in lockdown, there might have been unforeseen gaps in supply chains for Canadian businesses and they were quickly exposed because of the pace of play relative to the spread of the pandemic. This would require new approaches to limit future disruptions.”

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