Results from Ontario Economic Report Survey Demonstrate COVID-19 Impacts on Local Economy, Employment, and Enterprises

(Haliburton – October 19, 2020) – This week, in line with Small Business Week 2020, the Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce is releasing initial insights from data it has collected for the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s Ontario Economic Report (OER). Many members of the Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce participated in the micro-survey, and as a result there are some regionally-specific results that can be shared.

As the communities wind down from the busy season in the Highlands, this survey provides a snapshot of the local business conditions and attitudes. From the results, one can reasonably conclude that many small businesses across Haliburton County are feeling the pinch:

  • Regarding the perception a business opportunity to thrive in the community, 39% said no and 13% were unsure.
  • 32% reported a lack of business confidence in the local economy, while 50% of local respondents lacked such confidence at a Provincial level.
  • 50% reported either permanently or temporarily dismissing employees.

“The Pandemic has disproportionately affected certain sectors – accommodations, food services, arts, entertainment, recreation and retail have all been hit heavily,” said Andrea Strano, President of the Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce. “It is not surprising that half of our local enterprises had to temporarily or permanently dismiss employees; this is going to result in community-level impacts for many months to come.”

Regional insights for Muskoka and the Kawarthas can be further explored on the  OER Survey website. The next wave of the OER Survey is currently underway and can be completed here. This 3-minute survey on business confidence, pandemic recovery, government support programs will help inform the upcoming Ontario Economic Report and the advocacy of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. This survey was fielded by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. Fieldwork was completed from September 3rd to September 23rd, 2020.


About the Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce
Since 1936, the Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce has been the Voice of Business for Haliburton County. Through its leadership, the Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce is committed to strengthening business and community through advocacy, networking, participation, education and services. As a member-based business advocacy organization we are dedicated to providing a strong voice in support of the economic vitality of our community.

For more information, please contact:
Jennifer M. Locke
Executive Director
Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce
(705) 854-0593 (C)


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