2021 Collective Perspective Survey Report

This fall, the BC Chamber of Commerce asked you to share how your business is doing in our 2021 Collective Perspective Survey, the largest annual economic snapshot of B.C.’s business climate. With your support, we collected over 1,300 responses, giving us deeper insight into who is behind BC businesses, how they’re feeling about the current environment, and their sentiment towards COVID-19, government efforts, the labour market, and climate change.

As a result, we’re thrilled to share with you the 2021 Collective Perspective Survey Report. Included in the report are also key insights on gender, generations, and regional responses. The 2021 Collective Perspective Survey ran from October 18 to November 4, 2021. Bruce Anderson, Chairman of Abacus Data, contextualized the data for the Collective Perspective 2021 virtual event that was hosted on November 18, 2021.

Here’s What You Told Us: 2021 Collective Perspective Survey

With responses from businesses in every corner of the province, hope and optimism shined through as key themes. While 82% of businesses reported being in good or acceptable shape, a decline from 94% in 2019, 46% of respondents said their business will emerge from the pandemic stronger than before. However, recruitment and retention continue to be a challenge for businesses, with 47% saying it’s the most difficult challenge they face.

Generational trends were brought to light, with businesses reporting that 57% of them can bear the taxes their business pays, the strongest result coming from GenZ and millennials. The generational shift was also prevalent when identifying which policies were helpful or harmful to businesses. Societal policies outranked cutting deficits. 71% want to see dollars for health care and mental health, 68% want affordable homes for young and low-income people, 64% want dollars for transit, and 57% want $10.00 a day child care. This indicates that B.C. businesses recognize that if certain social challenges aren’t eased, economic and business challenges get harder, so policies and initiatives to support them are needed.

There has also been an increase in the number of businesses working towards managing climate change and reducing emissions. Climate change is seen as an opportunity by some, but with clear challenges as well. While 62% of businesses reported climate change being both a challenge and an opportunity, 78% have made some or significant progress towards reducing emissions, and 25% will pursue significant emission reduction in the next few years.

We encourage you to use these findings to better understand the current economic outlook for British Columbia, to react and adapt to external and internal changes, and to align your business to thrive under our current and future conditions.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to the BCMindReader platform and for your participation in this year’s Collective Perspective survey. If you would like to look deeper into the data, you can view the full report here.