Thunder Bay District COVID-19 Business Impact Survey

Local COVID-19 business survey shows 91% experienced a decrease in sales; new and repeat business participation sought for second round

Tuesday June 02, 2020 – The partnership launched in April to survey the effects of COVID-19 on businesses in the Thunder Bay district has released the results of its first round of the survey, collected at the end of April. The Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce, North Superior Workforce Planning Board, Thunder Bay CEDC and Northern Policy Institute agreed to collaborate on the six-month project as a way of ensuring the unique circumstances of Thunder Bay District businesses are considered in government planning.

The results of the first survey round showed that, at the end of April, 91% of Thunder Bay businesses had experienced a decrease in sales. 45% had closed temporarily, and 41% had implemented social distancing measures.

Charla Robinson, President of the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce, says the initial numbers demonstrate the need for government supports tailored to the region. “The results clearly show that our businesses have been hard hit in the early days of COVID-19. This information is vital to our advocacy for support programs that will help with local business survival and recovery.”

“Repeat participation is strongly encouraged,” said Charles Cirtwill, President & CEO of Northern Policy Institute. “Monthly participation provides data that will help us identify the effects on businesses over a long period of time. Are things getting better or worse? Are people taking advantage of the programs offered?”

The five minute survey will be repeated each month through September in communities across the region. Respondents are strongly encouraged to participate in the survey each month to show how the effects of COVID-19 evolve over time for businesses.

The information gathered will inform advocacy work that helps shape federal, provincial and municipal government policies, ensuring Thunder Bay’s needs are identified and considered. It may also be used by community partners as a way of identifying workforce and business needs and developing supports unique to the region.

The second round of the survey is open to businesses of all sizes and can be found at


Contact: Piero Pucci, Thunder Bay CEDC, (807) 625-3960,               

Christine St-Pierre, Northern Policy Institute, (226) 344-3213,

About CEDC: The CEDC is responsible for business development, retention and expansion, entrepreneurial support, opportunity promotion, and the collection and assessment of key business data. The CEDC receives formal proposals for projects that will contribute to economic development. It responds quickly to new opportunities and initiatives to attract direct financial involvement from the government and private sectors. For more information, visit

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