MEDIA RELEASE: HALF OF MANITOBANS UNEASY WITH RESUMING ECONOMIC PARTICIPATION

Aug 12, 2020 | Business News and Tips, Chamber News, Corporate Member News, Uncategorized

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.

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

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