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Member survey: job losses and downsizing on the increase

The Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 Pandemic Impact Survey was released to the membership on 26th October and concluded on 2nd November. The survey provided the Council with updated information about the impact that the pandemic has had on member businesses and organisations since March. The findings were presented at the Government Caucus meeting on 16th November. 111 responses were received, representing all major industry sectors. Most of the businesses responding were based in George Town (73) followed by West Bay (20) with nine businesses operating in multiple districts. 50% of the respondents listed their customers as a combination of residents, visitors and offshore with 27 businesses relying solely on residents and 19 relying solely on visitors.

Some highlights:
   
-35 businesses reported that there was no change in their staff levels between March and November 2020.    
-Businesses employing fewer than 5 employees in March (35) declined by 4 in November.    
-Businesses employing between 5 and 15 employees in March (45) declined to 23 in November.
-Businesses employing between 16 and 25 employees in March (13) declined to 11 in November.    
-Businesses employing between 26 and 50 employees in March (9) declined to 4 in November.    
-Businesses employing between 51 and 100 employees in March (3) remained the same in November.    
-Businesses employing 101 employees or more in March (6) declined to 3 in November.

Total jobs reported among the 111 members in March that responded to the survey ranged from a low of 1,488 and a high of 2,531 based on the category ranges. Compared to November, the number of jobs declined from a low of 886 and a high of 1,578 jobs. Comparing the March to November results, between 602 and 953 jobs have been lost during the pandemic by these 111 businesses and organisations.

Additional findings:
   
-85 members reported that their business has been directly impacted by the pandemic.    
-35 of the 84 respondents reported that the degree of risk to their business is severe (serious disruption to business)    
-22 reported some disruption to business and 24 reported an extreme risk that could lead to potential business closure.

Assuming the current situation continues (limited air arrivals, no cruise ship arrivals and quarantine restrictions) nearly 50% of the 84 respondents to this question confirmed that they will downsize or make other adjustments for their business to survive until the economy recovers. 13 businesses said they will seek additional Government or private financial arrangements and 13 reported that they will close before the end of the year with two stating that they will put their businesses up for sale. Based on the responses from 82 members, between 225 and 435 jobs held by Caymanians are at risk in the next three months if economic conditions do not improve.

To view the full report please click here

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