Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

Nov 13, 2020

Economy EmploymentAs a result of widespread measures taken to contain the spread of COVID-19, the Canadian economy contracted 11.6% in April, following a 7.5% drop in March. By the end of May, many businesses had begun to adapt to the new reality by shifting to teleworking, reducing hours, laying off staff, applying for government funding or seeking rent relief. As pandemic-related restrictions were gradually lifted throughout the summer, the business climate began to improve slightly. For example, real gross domestic product grew 1.2% in August, the fourth consecutive monthly increase, which continued to offset the steepest drops in Canadian economic activity on record that were observed in March and April. 

Nevertheless, challenges remain, especially in light of the resurgence of COVID-19 and a return to partial shutdowns in several provinces.

From mid-September to late October, Statistics Canada conducted the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions to collect information the pandemic's impact on businesses throughout the summer, and on businesses' expectations moving forward. 

Although almost two-fifths of businesses had laid off staff since the start of the pandemic, around three-quarters expected to retain the same number of employees over the next three months, and had the cash or liquid assets required to operate. 

Conversely, over two-fifths of businesses could not take on more debt. Nearly one-fifth of businesses expected to raise prices, and 5.2% reported that they were actively considering bankruptcy or closure.

Layoffs during the pandemic

Almost two-fifths (36.5%) of businesses had laid off at least one employee since the start of the pandemic. Of businesses that had laid off at least one employee, almost two-thirds (64.3%) had laid off half or more of their workforce. Of businesses that reported layoffs, the majority in the arts, entertainment and recreation (84.0%), health care and social assistance (80.6%), and accommodation and food services (74.0%) sectors reported laying off half or more of their workforce. Just over half (53.8%) of businesses that had laid off staff reported hiring back 50% or more of their workforce. 

The majority of businesses expect to retain the same number of employees over the next three months

Nearly three-quarters (74.1%) of businesses expected their number of employees to remain the same over the next three months, while 10.4% expected their number of employees to decrease. Over one-quarter of businesses in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector (28.9%) and almost one-quarter of businesses in the accommodation and food services sector (22.5%) expected to reduce their number of employees over the next three months, the highest proportions among all sectors. 

Some businesses expect to raise prices over the next three months

Almost one-fifth (18.1%) of businesses expected to raise prices over the next three months, including over one-quarter of businesses in the retail trade (31.1%) and construction (27.8%) sectors. In contrast, 5.1% of all businesses expected to lower prices. 

Liquidity and ability to take on more debt

Over three-quarters (76.9%) of businesses had the cash or liquid assets required to operate. Over two-fifths (43.9%) of businesses reported that they were unable to take on more debt, while nearly one-fifth (19.4%) could not say whether they could take on more debt. Close to three-fifths (57.0%) of businesses in the accommodation and food services sector reported that they were unable to take on more debt.

Outlook on business operations

Close to one-third (30.4%) of businesses did not know how long they could continue to operate at their current level of revenue and expenditures before considering further staffing actions, closure or bankruptcy, while nearly one-fifth (17.5%) reported they could continue for less than six months. Approximately one-third of businesses in the arts, entertainment and recreation (29.4%) and accommodation and food services (29.2%) sectors reported that they could continue to operate at their current level of revenue and expenditures for less than six months before considering further staffing actions, closure or bankruptcy.

Business revenues

Almost one-third (30.8%) of businesses reported that their revenues from August 2020 were down 30% or more, year over year. Less than one-fifth (15.5%) of businesses reported that their revenues were down by half or more. 

Nearly half (46.9%) of businesses in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector reported that their revenues were down 40% or more. Conversely, over half of businesses in the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (54.2%), real estate and rental and leasing (53.7%), and finance and insurance (53.0%) sectors reported either no change or an increase in revenue.

Just over one-third (36.4%) of businesses did not expect their revenues to be higher over the next three months compared with the previous three months. Over half of the businesses in the accommodation and food services (55.6%) and arts, entertainment and recreation (54.9%) sectors did not expect their revenues to be higher. Over one-quarter (27.5%) of businesses were uncertain about their revenues over the next three months.

Special accommodations for employees who are parents 

Nearly three-fifths (59.4%) of businesses where not all work could be performed on a flexible schedule or where schools and child-care facilities were not expected to have a normal schedule during the fall were providing or considering providing special accommodations for parents. Over two-fifths (41.8%) of these businesses allowed or would allow parents to change their schedules; over one-quarter (27.5%) allowed or would allow parents to telework or work remotely; and close to one-quarter (23.7%) allowed or would allow parents to switch to part-time status on a temporary or limited basis.

Teleworking or working remotely during and after the pandemic

Teleworking and working remotely have become more prevalent since the start of the pandemic. Over one-third (35.3%) of businesses reported that teleworking or working remotely was a possibility for their employees. Of these businesses, over one-quarter (27.2%) reported that all of their workforce was teleworking or working remotely on August 31, 2020. Once the pandemic is over, 14.7% of businesses anticipate that all of their workforce will continue to primarily telework or work remotely. 

For businesses that indicated that teleworking was potentially applicable to their workforce, over one-quarter (28.3%) reported being likely or very likely to permanently offer more employees the possibility of teleworking or working remotely once the pandemic is over, while 12.7% were likely or very likely to require it.

Source: Statistics Canada, www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/201113/dq201113a-eng.htm?CMP=mstatcan

Photo by Kumpan Electric on Unsplash

Nexans Webinar - Key 2021 Electrical Code Changes Impacting Wire and Cable

Nexans Free WebinarJoin NEXANS for a free webinar with Isaac Müller, Applications Engineer for Nexans as he reviews and discusses the changes to the 2021 Canadian Electrical Code related to wire and cable. This free webinar will take place Wed, Jan 27, 2021 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST.

This webinar includes:
- Updated rules to protect cables (12-514,12-516)
- New conditions of use for wire & cable (Table 19)
- An opportunity to ask your questions

 


Click here to register today.


AEABy Blake Marchand

“It was amazing,” Alberta Electrical Alliance CEO Tara Ternes said of their first Virtual Electrical Learning Expo. “It was a built from scratch platform, based on our 26-years of experience doing the Expo,” so it certainly didn’t go without its challenges.

“Going forward it will be much easier,” she said, adding that they learned a lot in the process of putting together and putting on the event virtually with Ivy Design, a marketing firm based out of Calgary, Alberta.

 

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Carol McGloganBy Carol McGlogan

The pandemic has given us reason to pause and evaluate everything we do. We have all been affected in our personal and professional lives, and it is during these times we realize family and community come first.

We know that EFC’s role is to bring the electrical industry closer together – and this pandemic has proven that there is no better time to come together.

 

 

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Wholesale Product Sales - OctoberThe sale of wholesale products rose 1.0% in October to $66.7 billion, marking the sixth consecutive increase for the sector. Gains in three subsectors — machinery, equipment and supplies • motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts and accessories • building material and supplies subsectors — all contributed to the growth, which was partially offset by declines in the food, beverage and tobacco, and personal and household goods subsectors.

Sales volumes grew 1.0% in October.

 

 

 

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Michelle BraniganBy Michelle Branigan

If the events of this year have shown us anything, it’s that the Canadian electricity sector is resilient. As a sector providing an essential service 24/7/365, those who work in the sector have long had that “storm mentality” and are ready for extreme weather or other crisis scenarios.

Most organizations have robust emergency plans in place, and some even have specific plans prepared for a pandemic (based on previous scares with SARS and H1N1). 

 

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Stephanie SmithElectricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC) has announced Stephanie Smith as the winner of its annual Leader of the Year Award. A human-centred leader in a highly technical field, Stephanie has an impressive track record of building strong relationships both inside and outside of the nuclear community, as well as creating safe and inclusive working environments.

Recently appointed as the first female President and CEO of CANDU Owners Group, Stephanie developed her career at Ontario Power Generation (OPG) where she made history throughout her career. Notably, as Plant Manager at Pickering Nuclear she was responsible for the safe operation and maintenance of 6 nuclear reactors. 

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TexcanSonepar Canada is pleased to announce the appointment of Roger Gray as Texcan Ontario’s new Branch Manager. Gray joined the company as of November 16th and has been managing the Brampton, ON branch.

Gray brings over 25 years of experience in the wire and cable distribution industry. His experience in strategic account management, familiarity of application and site limitations has earned him creditability amongst electrical contractors and OEMs alike.

 

 

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WestburneWestburne Canada has announced the appointment of Rick Di Danieli to the role of Director, Industrial Solutions effective January 4, 2021. In this role, Rick will report to me and will be responsible for strategic direction and execution within the process and services space across Canada.


"A long standing Westburne partner and friend, Rick brings a wealth of industry and leadership experience, acquired in a 34-year career with Rockwell Automation. During that time he progressed through many leadership roles across North America, most recently as Regional Director Oil & Gas for North America," said Dave Syer, Vice President, Westburne Canada.

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Yves ChabotFollowing Groupe Stelpro’s recent acquisition of floor heating system manufacturer Flextherm, Yves Chabot, President and CEO of Groupe Stelpro, agreed to answer our questions.

Given the recent acquisition, can you tell us about the key issues for your industry?

Many significant challenges exist. Over the short term, the industry must navigate the pandemic and deal with unprecedented labour scarcity. Over the medium to long term, we must position ourselves within the energy transition in a context where homes are increasingly smart and feature countless connected objects.

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