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How Canadian businesses are surviving the pandemic


Toronto, April 27, 2021

In the latest survey from The Business Monitor, Canadian executives were asked which measures their organization has taken to help it persevere through the pandemic, and to rate the importance of each for their organization’s survival.

Government support, cost cutting and investing in technology top the list of survival measures.

The top three measures taken by organizations were participation in government initiatives (such as CEBA, wage subsidies, rent and tax deferrals), followed by cost cutting measures and, finally, investing in information and communications technology. Relatively few businesses responded by building/expanding online sales or moving into new lines of business.

ICT, online sales, cost cutting and government support all score highly for business survival.

Organizations that adopted these measures were then asked how important they were to their survival. Approximately half of those businesses who participated in government initiatives, cut costs or invested in technology regarded those measures as very important to their survival. Likewise, fully 50% of those building or expanding online sales regarded it as very important to survival (although fewer than a quarter of businesses adopted that measure). These are high top-two box numbers.

Struggling firms have much higher participation in government programs and cost cutting than more stable firms.

Struggling companies are more than twice as likely as stable ones to have engaged in cost cutting measures. Likewise, participation in government support initiatives is at fully 60% for the precarious.
It is important to note that these struggling firms are doing much better than they were a year ago. Most of these companies say they can survive past a year today. These measures were critical in extending their survival window.

A range of measures have been critically important for business survival.

Cost cutting, government support, ICT, online sales and FI support have all been highly important to the survival of struggling businesses.