COVID19- Indigenous Business Survey KEY FINDINGS
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, leading countries and communities around the world to adopt strict health and safety measures, including commercial shutdowns and restrictions to mitigate the spread of the virus. Early on, First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities were identified as particularly vulnerable to the impacts of the pandemic, given the lack of access to potable water, substandard housing on reserves, and ongoing inequality in healthcare services.
Indigenous businesses, both urban and rural, provide essential services and economic opportunities for their communities. Ensuring adequate financial support to maintain operations can help Indigenous businesses continue to deliver essential services and functions, such as fundamental food items and personal protective equipment (PPE), retain Indigenous employees, and continue to grow the Indigenous economy for the betterment of all Canadians.
Impacts of COVID-19 to Indigenous Businesses in Canada
91% of Indigenous businesses experienced a negative impact from COVID-19.
50% or more experienced a decrease in revenues (76%); decrease in demand for products or services (65%); and cancellation of meetings, gatherings, or events (59%).
30% reported a shutdown of offices and facilities.
67% have seen a decrease in revenues from January to March 2020, when compared to revenues earned from the same time period in 2019. Of those businesses, 38% reported a decrease in revenues of 40% or more.
47% plan to or have applied for government financial assistance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly half of these will require over $50,000 in financial assistance to maintain normal business operations.
68% have seen an impact to staffing during this time. Most notably, 11% of respondents report that none of the firm’s employees are able to work normally during the pandemic.
12% provide supplies or equipment to meet Canada’s medical needs or can rapidly scale up/pivot production to provide PPE (8%).