The Fernie Chamber of Commerce hosted this year's virtual 2020 Business Awards. (File Photo)

Chamber’s ‘pulse check’ in Fernie’s businesses shows optimism still high

Businesses were surveyed each month through 2020

Results from the Fernie Chamber of Commerce’s 2020 ‘Business pulse check’ have come in, and they paint a rollercoaster of an image of business sentiment in Fernie.

Compiled from self-reporting surveys done each month, sentiments were shown to swing wildly month-to-month, with expected dips in revenue and confidence between March and May, a slow improvement through to October before things took a turn for the worse (again) through to the end of the year.

In remarks on revenues, the chamber noted that the second wave made December “as difficult as the first shut down for surveyed businesses.”

Business proved to be optimistic though – while March was a month of confidence being down in the dumps – with over 80 per cent of respondents saying they were somewhat not confident, or not confident at all – the same couldn’t be said for attitudes through the second wave, with 75 per cent of businesses saying they were “very confident” or “somewhat confident” about the next 12 months when surveyed in December.

In fact, March was the only month when pessimism outweighed optimism.

The chamber's survey results on sentiments. (Source: Fernie Chamber of Commerce)

Job vacancies through 2020 were relatively low – in line with Canada-wide job statistics – with more than half of all respondents having no job openings for most of 2020. The month to be searching for a job in town was apparently November, when a little under 50 per cent of businesses had at least one vacancy they were looking to fill.

The survey was taken each month through 2020 as part of an unscientific poll. 332 surveys were returned through the year, with an average of 28 responses per month. The data was, and will be used to inform the Chamber of Commerce’s initiatives and campaigns to support local business.

26 per cent of all respondents described themselves as being in the accommodation or tourism sectors, while another 20 per cent were in food and beverage.

READ MORE: Sparwood votes in favour of non-medical cannabis business opening in district
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