Demoralization, anxiety and resilience among traders

Demoralization, anxiety and resilience among traders

Some merchants have already taken steps to obtain support from Commerce Sherbrooke.

Share November 11, 2020 3:00 am Updated at 7:55 am Share Demoralization, anxiety and resilience among tradersDemoralization, anxiety and resilience among traders

Mélanie Noël La Tribune “People happy to be in the red zone, I don't know any. For the majority of traders, it is a little demoralizing and distressing, but currently, I still feel resilience among the majority of our traders, “said François Desmarais, deputy general manager at Commerce Sherbrooke.

“During the first wave, most had to turn to a dime to adapt their service offering and innovate. There, it is the reinstatement of everything they had camped during the spring containment, ”adds Mr. Desmarais, specifying that Commerce Sherbrooke's phone rang less than at the start of the first wave of the pandemic. .

Some areas are more affected than others. “For restaurants, bars, cinemas and theaters, the Earth stops spinning almost instantly. But we can see that our local entrepreneurs already have ideas and projects to put in place. Nobody crashes, but it's more difficult for everyone. “

Some merchants have already taken steps to obtain support from Commerce Sherbrooke. “Whether it is support at the management level or the financing of new projects, we have had requests. In a few days, two recent initiatives, those of the Pioneer Fund and the Digital Compass, have each attracted more than a dozen companies, ”notes the Deputy Director General.

The think tank for restaurateurs has been very successful and similar clinics for various types of traders should take place in the coming weeks.

“We had several registrations for a support clinic for online sales on Wednesday. And a new support measure for local entrepreneurs will be launched this week. This is a measure that involves Commerce Sherbrooke and citizens, ”added Mr. Desmarais, specifying that details will follow later this week.

Demoralization, anxiety and resilience among traders

François Desmarais, Deputy Director General at Commerce Sherbrooke Photo archives, La Tribune

Some less affected than others

The businesses of the key sectors of Sherbrooke Innopole are affected by the pandemic, but not particularly by the passage of Estrie in the red zone, believes the general manager, Josée Fortin, specifying that businesses such as restaurants or bars are not in the niche of the city's economic development organization, which serves the industrial and tertiary-engine sectors.

“A survey by Sherbrooke Innopole, dating from September, indicates that nearly 75% of companies had recalled all their employees and 54% of companies had recorded, during the pandemic, a turnover equal to or greater than normal ”, explains Ms. Fortin, specifying that 106 companies responded to the survey of the 679 companies included in their five key sectors.

According to the survey, 13.6% of companies recorded an increase in sales and 40% a similar volume.

“Obviously industries like aeronautics and the automobile are doing less well. Companies that manufacture, for example, gaskets have less business volume knowing that car manufacturers have decided to exhaust their inventory rather than launching new models, ”says Ms. Fortin.

“Several office workers are still teleworking while the factory workers had returned to the site. We are lucky, by the way, because to my knowledge, we have not had large outbreaks as is the case at the moment at Olymel. Companies have taken health measures very seriously, ”emphasizes the Managing Director of Sherbrooke Innopole.

Despite the pandemic, 70% of companies planned to hire. “The labor shortage has not gone away. However, it should be noted that the survey took place while the PCU was still in effect. Probably the number of employees returning to work is higher as of today, ”says Ms. Fortin.

Demoralization, anxiety and resilience among traders

Josée Fortin, General Manager of Sherbrooke Innopole Photo archives, La Tribune

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