The B.C. economy contracted by 5.3 per cent last year. This year it is expected to grow by 4.4 per cent. Employment is back at pre-pandemic levels, and revenues are being buoyed by strong commodity prices, retail and housing sales. But the recovery has been uneven.
Greg D’Avignon, president and chief executive officer of the Business Council of B.C., said the province has already lost about 2,300 businesses because of COVID-19, and many more are not expected to survive the third wave of the pandemic, which is hitting the tourism and hospitality sectors especially hard. As many as 50,000 businesses could fail, he said in an interview on Tuesday, adding that it was disappointing the provincial government didn’t have more measures to help businesses pivot to emerging opportunities and demands.
“The global economic recovery is already under way,” he said. “Nobody is waiting for British Columbia or Canada. We need to start to act now in order to participate in that growth opportunity, because we have a lot that the world wants, but we need to position ourselves to get on our front foot, to take advantage of the demand.”