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August 24, 2020

How Has COVID-19 Impacted Canadian Equipment Manufacturers?

A new survey taken June 22 to August 5, 2020 by the country’s Association of Equipment Manufacturers tries to answer that question. The AEM asked respondents about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, the industry, supply chain and manufacturing operations, and financial expectations and about the challenges the companies expect to continue to face.

Key findings include:

  • Almost half of respondents (47 percent) said it would take a year or more for their organization to recover to pre-COVID business levels;
  • More than three-quarters of respondents (76 percent) identified a decrease in demand (new orders) as the primary impact of COVID-19 on their business and manufacturing operations;
  • Supply chain issues were a major concern for 43 percent of respondents;
  • Half of respondents said they already have accessed or plan to access the Canadian government’s COVID-19 relief programs for businesses;
  • To help businesses survive the pandemic, 65 percent of respondents said the government needs to recognize the critical importance of Canadian manufacturing capacity, implement measures to increase the competitiveness of the sector, and reward innovative Canadian manufacturers;
  • 60 percent of respondents said they hoped the government would invest more federal money in infrastructure projects at a stimulus measure; and
  • 60 percent also said the government should create a program to replace older equipment with new, lower emission equipment through tax credits or government grants and loans.

Alexander Russ, director of government affairs for AEM, said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly impacted equipment manufacturers and the communities we proudly serve across Canada. From new orders drying up to supply chain disruptions, this unprecedented crisis has caused many companies to reduce their immediate financial outlook.”