June 22, 2020 – Winnipeg, MB – Reassurances that commercial spaces are safe to return to is the most important factor in getting Manitobans to resume participation in the economy, according to the results of a Probe Research Inc survey, commissioned by the Business Council of Manitoba, Manitoba Chambers of Commerce and the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce.  

The survey of 1,000 Manitobans conducted in early June found half of Manitoba adults hold reservations about fully resuming their pre-pandemic social and economic routines, with one in five indicating they will continue to remain in isolation.   

“Manitobans have done an incredible job of bending the curve and we are now in an enviable position as a result of our diligence and shared efforts,” says Bram Strain, CEO, Business Council of Manitoba. “What Manitoba consumers told us in this survey is that, as we begin the recovery process, the most significant contributing factor to their economic participation is a reassurance that commercial spaces such as workplaces and service settings are safe and virus-free, with 75% saying this is critical or important. The business community must continue to demonstrate its commitment to health protocols and safety.”

“With each phase of re-opening in Manitoba, we are seeing increasing optimism within the business community,” adds Loren Remillard, President & CEO, The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce. “But that optimism must be matched by consumer confidence if we are to truly rebound from COVID’s devastating impact to our economy. The survey clearly indicates more work is needed to build consumer trust, and underscores why having a coordinated program and campaign that provides credible assurances is so vital. Having an open sign on the door only helps if people are willing to open the door and enter.”

A large proportion of survey respondents reported a fairly good or very good understanding of COVID-19 related information including limits to gathering sizes (86%), threats to public safety (82%), testing eligibility (77%), and the rules surrounding leaving and re-entering the province (76%). At the bottom of the list were how long social distancing will last (52%), provincial PPE preparedness (50%), and when schools will resume (42%).

“It is imperative that all levels of government continue to communicate clearly and regularly about the protocols and measures required. Members of the public must have the information required to build consumer confidence as our economy rebounds,” says Chuck Davidson, President & CEO, Manitoba Chambers of Commerce.

Additional survey findings include:

  • One-third of respondents are keen to engage in “re-opening” at the earliest opportunity, but one in five Manitobans report they will continue to remain in basic isolation.
  • Men, younger adults (18 to 34), and those living outside of Winnipeg are more likely to be eager to re-open the economy than women, Winnipeg residents, and older adults.
  • The second most significant factor related to economic participation is the widespread availability of COVID-19 testing (65% say it’s critical or important).
  • Overall, 90% of Manitobans are somewhat or very concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on the province’s economy; 67% are somewhat or very concerned about the threat to their family’s health; and 65% are somewhat or very concerned about the threat to their personal finances.

Conducted by Probe Research Inc., the survey surveyed a random and representative sampling of 1,000 adults in Manitoba between June 2 – 11, 2020. With a sample of 1,000, the survey has a 95% certainty within +/- 3.1 percentage points. Minor statistical weighting has been applied to this sample to ensure that age and gender characteristics properly reflect known attributes of the provincial population.


Additional Resources: Read the full “Manitobans and Post-Pandemic Economic Re-Opening” Report.

About The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce: The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce uses its position as a community leader, a member business supporter and a public policy influencer to build a city where industry prosperity and community wellness grow.

About the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce: The Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, established in 1931, is the umbrella organization for Manitoba’s chamber movement. With a membership comprised of local Chambers of Commerce as well as direct corporate members, the MCC is Manitoba’s largest business lobby, representing almost 10,000 businesses and community leaders. Visit us online at #VoiceofBusiness #PoweroftheNetwork

About Business Council of Manitoba: Chief Executive Officers of leading Manitoba companies believe there is a need for business leaders to speak out on major policy issues facing our province. In 1998, they formed the Business Council of Manitoba. The Council has recruited leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to Manitoba’s economic growth and community development. The primary purpose of the Business Council of Manitoba is to research and advocate innovative positions on selected issues that bear directly on the future health of Manitoba society. The Council engages in discussion with political and business leaders, offering members access to new ideas and to decision makers who can convert those ideas into action.

For more information, please contact:

Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce
Kayla Buehler, Events and Marketing Coordinator
Ph: 204-898-4355

Manitoba Chambers of Commerce
Chuck Davidson, President & CEO
Ph: 204-948-0107 or M: 204-792-1679

Business Council of Manitoba
Bram Strain, President & CEO
Ph: 204-942-3637


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