Financial support from the government and financial institutions has contributed significantly to this upswing. Almost two-thirds (63%) of the companies surveyed named government or bank relief programs as the main source of support. Just over half (54%) of respondents said they benefited from Canada’s emergency wage subsidy, and nearly four in five (78%) said their financial institution helped them in the form of financial assistance, deferred payments and covenants Relief or information and advice from their banker.
“What we’ve heard time and again from our customers is that the pandemic was a wake-up call to rethink their long-term priorities,” said Kevin Teslyk, executive vice president, Canadian Business Banking, Scotiabank. “With the economy expected to stabilize and grow in the months ahead, many companies are experiencing a renewed sense of hope for their future.”
As the vision of a fully recovered Canadian economy gradually emerges, more than two-thirds of respondents (68%) expected to be back to life within six months before the pandemic, while just over half (53%) said they would be indicate that their company will change for the better in a variety of ways.
Over the next six months, 53% of respondents said they were investing in improved technological skills and tools. 52% will expand their product offerings or their services; 49% said they were improving or expanding their digital and online functions. and 45% have an eye on hiring more people.
The near-term environment promises to be conducive to such activity, with the Bank of Canada saying it won’t deviate from its base rate until at least 2023. In the short term, fading virus-related uncertainties can encourage households and businesses to reduce the sizeable cash accumulation they have accumulated over the past year.