GUELPH-ERAMOSA – The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on rural businesses across Canada, with a focus on rural Ontario, is the topic of an upcoming webinar hosted by the Rural Ontario Institute.
In the July 6 webinar, authors Marina Smailes, Andrew Balcom and Haaris Jafri will share data and key findings from a report titled Outlook of Rural Businesses and Impacts Related to COVID-19.
The analysis will include a comparison among industry sectors and between rural and urban businesses.
Among the findings in the report is that rural businesses have proven more resilient than their urban counterparts in some facets of operating through the pandemic.
The majority of businesses in both rural (52.3%) and urban (61.4%) areas indicated that they have either remained partially operational or have had to shut down temporarily due to COVID-19 impacts.
However, rural businesses have been able to remain fully operational during the pandemic in a larger proportion (47.7%) than their urban counterparts (38.6%), the report notes.
The study also found rural businesses were less likely to experience a decline in revenue than urban businesses. Overall, 45.8% of rural businesses had a 10% or more decline in revenues in 2020 compared with 2019, compared to 57.4% of urban businesses.
In addition, the portion of businesses that experienced year-to-year revenue increases of 10% or more was higher in rural areas (16.4%) than in urban areas (11.9%).
The study is based on the results of the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions (CSBC). Jafri is a manager and senior analyst in the Centre for Special Business Projects (CSBP) at Statistics Canada and co-author of the report.
Balcom, another co-author, is an analyst at Statistics Canada at the Centre for Special Business Projects (CSBP).
Smailes is an analyst at Statistics Canada in the Centre for Special Business Projects. Her current work involves investigating the impacts of COVID-19 on rural businesses.
Registration for the event is free through Eventbrite. For information visit the ROI Facebook page.