Vancouver Sun: COVID-19 in B.C.: The first three months — Early worries and calls to action

April 23, 2020
Colin Wong


It would not be long, though, before revenue would be dropping at companies across the province.

Greg D’Avignon, CEO of the B.C. Business Council, started tracking the effect of COVID-19 in China and Italy in mid-February and, later that month, in Seattle. He predicted on March 2 that the coronavirus could become a pandemic, but at that point did not envision “a disastrous impact” on local businesses, he said in a recent email.

“BCBC provided its first downgrade to our outlook for the B.C. economy in early March, due to the impact of blockades and COVID-19,” D’Avignon’s email said. “Within a week, we realized our updated forecast was already badly out of date given the exponential global shutdown on travel, manufacturing, consumer-facing sectors and consumer spending.”

The business council would then predict a staggering decline in B.C.’s gross domestic product of up to 11 per cent, compared to the effect of the 2008-2009 recession, which was a 2.6 per cent decline.

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