Scotiabank’s 2021 Canadian Business Outlook Report finds 78% of medium and large businesses feel optimistic about the future of their business post-COVID-19

TORONTO, March 15, 2021 /CNW/ – A surge of optimism has gripped many Canadian business owners as the country’s economy moves away from lockdowns and into a post-pandemic recovery. According to Scotiabank’s 2021 Canadian Business Outlook Report, nearly eight in 10 businesses feel optimistic about the future of their business, with half (53%) expecting their business to change for the better over time. one way or another.

Despite lingering apprehensions about the future state of the economy, the report reveals:

  • More than two-thirds of businesses (68%) expect to return to pre-pandemic conditions within six months or less, with most businesses (81%) planning to make investments during this time.
  • Almost one in four businesses (23%) are doing the same as before the pandemic, with 23% believing their business is doing better now than before the crisis. More businesses that feel supported by their financial institution report that their business is doing better now than before COVID-19.
  • 63% of companies cite bank or government assistance programs such as the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and the expanded Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) as a key source of support during the crisis.
  • Over the next six months, some of the top investment priorities for businesses will be technology capabilities (53%) and hiring more employees (45%).
  • The state of the economy (40%) and new government restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic (39%) are the top two concerns for businesses going forward.
  • 78% of businesses felt supported by their FIs during the pandemic, with the majority saying they received financial support to keep their business afloat.

“Canadian business owners have shown remarkable resilience and adaptability throughout the pandemic. In our conversations with our customers, we have consistently heard that the pandemic has given them an opportunity to rethink their long-term priorities,” said Kevin Teslyk, Executive Vice President, Canadian Business Banking for Scotiabank. “With the economy expected to stabilize and grow in the coming months, I encourage Canadian businesses to continue to work with their financial institution as we look to recovery in 2021 and beyond.”

As Canadian business owners map out their operating strategies for the year ahead, Scotiabank recommends five key areas for recovery and growth:

Plan your liquidity and cash flow: Begin scenario planning for 6-12 months in advance. Assess your cash flow, employee needs, supply chain and inventory, and variable and fixed expenses (including additional costs related to COVID-19, such as PPE for employees). Review and consider reducing non-labor costs that don’t impact the quality of your products and services.

Invest in your workforce: Studies have consistently shown that engaged employees are more productive. It is important that you continue to support your employees during and after the pandemic, while showing optimism, communicating regularly with your team and promoting diversity and inclusion at all levels. Continue to invest in your employees and above all, embrace remote working – it is now a competitive advantage that can attract new talent on a wider geographical scale.

Dive into digital: Take advantage of the many tools and resources available to help your business develop its digital capabilities. Explore opportunities for your business to embrace online innovation and look for ways to process customer payments faster, like Scotiabank’s Interac for Business. As your situation fluctuates, having agile business processes can help you adapt quickly to changing conditions.

Test new operational business models: Be bold and think of new or innovative ways to operate “outside the box”; whether that means expansion in this low interest rate environment, partnerships with other companies, mergers or acquisitions, etc. Consider pursuing supply chain diversification that includes local or multiple suppliers to increase your operational resilience.

Achieve your strategic goals with an excellent banking partner: Now is the time to contact your bank. The survey found that more businesses who feel supported by their financial institution say their business is doing better now than before COVID-19. Many financial institutions offer personalized assistance and access to government support programs, and Scotiabank has an extensive network of experienced professionals who have supported thousands of businesses through difficult times. Our team offers specialist solutions to help you manage risk, take advantage of new opportunities and plan for your future – we’re here to guide and support you through your journey with strategies from recovery to recovery. growth.

For more in-depth insights, analysis and advice, read Scotiabank’s full Canadian Business Outlook report here and view the report’s infographic here.

Methodology: Research conducted by Maru/Blue on behalf of Scotiabank at February 18-22, 2021 and October 21-November 3, 2020. A total of 310 and 305 completed surveys, respectively, were collected from Canadian corporate finance decision makers with annual incomes between $5 million and $500 million.

About Scotiabank

Scotiabank is a leading bank in the Americas. Guided by our Purpose: “For Every Future”, we help our clients, their families and their communities succeed through a wide range of advice, products and services, including personal and commercial banking, wealth management and private banking, corporate banking and investment banking. , and capital markets. With a team of approximately 90,000 employees and assets of approximately $1.2 trillion (like a January 31, 2021), Scotiabank is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: BNS) and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BNS). For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter @ScotiabankViews.


For further information: For media only: Caitlyn Veiga, (416) 520-1476, [email protected]

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