The COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns shocked businesses and the workforce across the Grand Erie area in an unprecedented manner starting in March 2020.
In the following months, as businesses began to contemplate, prepare, and execute plans to reopen, community organizations looked to identify interventions required to address the needs of the labour market in the immediate future.
The results of a survey of businesses paints a picture of the challenges and opportunities facing employers as they navigate the road to recovery from COVID-19.
The Grand Erie COVID-19 Recovery Task Force, created by the Workforce Planning Board recognized the need for evidence-based decision making and strong actions driven by and for the community. The group examined the needs of businesses within the communities of Six Nations, New Credit, City of Brantford, and Brant, Haldimand, and Norfolk counties.
Survey questions were developed to assess the impact of the pandemic on local employers and evaluate the demand for various strategies and solutions to address their emerging needs.
The survey was conducted online between July 6, 2020 to Aug. 14, 2020 and engaged 195 businesses across various sectors within the Grand Erie region.
This report dives into the results of the survey, revealing critical shifts in the business landscape and noting differences by sector and business size. Key findings include:
· Significant decrease in demand for goods and services among one-third of businesses
· Wide-spread concerns about access to PPE in the short and medium term
· High levels of interest in skills training to support recent shifts in skills-in-demand
· Challenges with hiring in the current atmosphere
The findings of this survey are intended to provide residents, businesses, and government leaders across Grand Erie with the knowledge they need to make informed action plans as we travel on the road to recovery.