That was the focus of a Covid-19 Pulse Check survey conducted by the BC Northern Chambers and the BC Chamber earlier this month.

The results were released on Wednesday.

Kathy Somerville is the Manager of the Quesnel and District Chamber of Commerce…

“Business decrease in sales 69 percent, hardest hit small business 74 percent, the staff hours of course are down 48 percent and 37 percent of businesses had layoffs, up to 37 percent.”

Somerville says they are sort of getting hit with a double whammy as costs are also up…

“The increased costs of operating was up to 42 percent, so the PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and the extra cleaning that businesses had to do has really impacted their business.”

Somerville says about 58 percent of businesses in Northern BC are using some form of government support.

The Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy was the most popular one.

Somerville says they also asked about how businesses felt they were going to be once those supports end…

“Just four in ten say they expect things to return to normal once the programs end, 27 percent expect reduced employee hours, 19 percent expect to lay off or terminate employees, and one in ten say they will close either temporarily or permanently.”

This survey had 1,401 participants.