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

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.

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.

“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.”

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.

Other highlights:

  • 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.”

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