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 “Within a week, we realized our updated forecast was already badly out of date given the exponential global shutdown on travel, manufacturing, consumer-facing sectors and consumer spending.”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.