COVID 19 Business Impacts Persist

Date: February 2, 2021

Author: Norm Ragetlie

An analysis of business closure/reopening statistics reported in a special COVID edition of the Focus on Rural Ontario fact series by the Rural Ontario Institute reveal that in areas outside of Census Metropolitan Areas in October there were fewer active businesses reporting payroll by some -7 % than would otherwise have been expected. March and April closures were significantly higher than usual and openings/re-openings that have occurred since while also higher than normal were not enough to recover to the previous level of active businesses.  Rural/urban comparisons do not reveal any meaningful differences in the overall trend. Previously reported monthly Labour Force Survey employment numbers and this business closure/opening data both point to the same particular hard hit sectors.

The business closure/opening fact sheet can be found as a downloadable resource in the Focus on Rural Ontario section of our Knowledge Centre.


ROI has been providing information highlighting the COVID employment impact in “Rural Small Town” (RST) areas of Ontario with a special Focus on Rural Ontario fact sheet series.  The trend in employment was of deep declines in March and April followed by significant gains May through July and then steady recovery through to the turn of the year such that the RST COVID employment gap had narrowed to -1.7.  Freely downloadable COVID related fact sheets can be found in the Focus on Rural Ontario section of our Knowledge Centre.