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More than 50% of Canadian companies have lost at least one-fifth of their revenue to COVID-19, StatsCan says – CBC.ca

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More than half of the companies in Canada have lost at least 20 per cent of their revenue because of the COVID-19 pandemic, new numbers from Statistics Canada and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce suggest.

Between April 3 and 24, more than 12,600 Canadian companies responded to a questionnaire on Statistics Canada’s website regarding how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their business.

The results offer a glimpse of the devastation that the coronavirus has caused.

Nearly one-third — 32.3 per cent — of businesses have lost 40 per cent of their revenues during the pandemic. A further 21.2 per cent said revenues were down by at least 20 per cent.

All in all, more than 80 per cent of businesses across the country reported a “medium to high” drop in demand for their products or services.

While the pandemic has hit all types of companies in all corners of Canada, the pain has not been felt evenly across the economy.

Businesses in the accommodation and food services sector were most likely to have felt the pinch, followed by entertainment and recreation and retail trade. More than 60 per cent of businesses in those parts of the economy reported losing at least one-fifth of their usual revenue.

On the other end of the spectrum, more than 40 per cent of businesses in each of the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and the utilities sectors reported either no change or an increase in revenue.

Provincial breakdown

The economic impact of COVID-19 was equally uneven geographically, too.

More than half of all businesses in Alberta, Ontario, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Saskatchewan reported losing at least one-fifth of their revenue.

But almost one-third of companies in P.E.I, the territories and New Brunswick reported either no change or an increase in revenue.

And even in places that are faring comparatively better, companies are still laying people off, or cutting salaries and hours for the workers they retain.

Economist Brendon Bernard with staffing firm Indeed.com noted that while job cuts and wage rollbacks are common, a small sliver of employers reported that they had in fact increased staff compensation since the pandemic started, notably companies in retail and health care, where demand for some products and services is continuing at a swift pace.

Reasons for optimism

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce collaborated with Statistics Canada to collect the data released Wednesday, and the group that calls itself Canada’s largest business association says the numbers show just how dire the situation is. 

“The data clearly shows thousands of businesses are quickly approaching permanent closures,” Stratton said, but he added that the situation is not hopeless.

Companies are surviving and adapting on the fly, with 20 per cent reporting they’ve changed their production process to stay open during the pandemic, more than 40 per cent saying they are testing out ways their employees can work from home, and 60 per cent saying they hope they’ll be able to get back to normal within one month of physical distancing measures being removed.

“We are now six weeks into the shutdown, which is too late for many, but countless companies can still be saved if we move fast enough to help them,” he said.

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Google in $5bn lawsuit for tracking in 'private' mode – BBC News

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Google has been sued in the US over claims it illegally invades the privacy of users by tracking people even when they are browsing in “private mode”.

The class action wants at least $5bn (£4bn) from Google and owner Alphabet.

Many internet users assume their search history isn’t being tracked when they view in private mode, but Google says this isn’t the case.

The search engine denies this is illegal and says it is upfront about the data it collects in this mode.

The proposed class action likely includes “millions” of Google users who since 1 June 2016 browsed the internet in private mode according to law firm Boies Schiller Flexner who filed the claim on Tuesday in federal court in San Jose, California.

Incognito mode within Google’s Chrome browser gives users the choice to search the internet without their activity being saved to the browser or device. But the websites visited can use tools such as Google Analytics to track usage.

The complaint says that Google “cannot continue to engage in the covert and unauthorized data collection from virtually every American with a computer or phone”.

Vigorously denying the claims Google spokesman Jose Castaneda said: “As we clearly state each time you open a new incognito tab, websites might be able to collect information about your browsing activity”.

The search engine says the collection of search history, even in private viewing mode, helps site owners “better evaluate the performance of their content, products, marketing and more.”

While private browsing has been available from Google for some time, Boies Schiller Flexner said it recently decided to represent three plaintiffs based in the US.

“People everywhere are becoming more aware (and concerned) that their personal communications are being intercepted, collected, recorded, or exploited for gain by technology companies they have come to depend on,” it said in the filing.

One option is for visitors to install Google Analytics browser opt-out extension to disable measurement by Google Analytics, it says.

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Google is sued in US for tracking users' 'private' internet browsing – The Jerusalem Post

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Google was sued on Tuesday in a proposed class action accusing the internet search company of illegally invading the privacy of millions of users by pervasively tracking their internet use through browsers set in “private” mode.The lawsuit seeks at least $5 billion, accusing the Alphabet Inc unit of surreptitiously collecting information about what people view online and where they browse, despite their using what Google calls Incognito mode.According to the complaint filed in the federal court in San Jose, California, Google gathers data through Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager and other applications and website plug-ins, including smartphone apps, regardless of whether users click on Google-supported ads.This helps Google learn about users’ friends, hobbies, favorite foods, shopping habits, and even the “most intimate and potentially embarrassing things” they search for online, the complaint said.Google “cannot continue to engage in the covert and unauthorized data collection from virtually every American with a computer or phone,” the complaint said.Jose Castaneda, a Google spokesman, said the Mountain View, California-based company will defend itself vigorously against the claims.”As we clearly state each time you open a new incognito tab, websites might be able to collect information about your browsing activity,” he said.While users may view private browsing as a safe haven from watchful eyes, computer security researchers have long raised concern that Google and rivals might augment user profiles by tracking people’s identities across different browsing modes, combining data from private and ordinary internet surfing.The complaint said the proposed class likely includes “millions” of Google users who since June 1, 2016 browsed the internet in “private” mode.It seeks at least $5,000 of damages per user for violations of federal wiretapping and California privacy laws.Boies Schiller & Flexner represents the plaintiffs Chasom Brown, Maria Nguyen and William Byatt.

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Huawei Snubbed by Canadian Firms Ahead of Trudeau’s Crucial 5G Call – Yahoo Finance

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(Bloomberg) — Two major Canadian wireless companies said they will build out their next-generation 5G wireless networks with equipment from European providers, sidelining China’s Huawei Technologies Co.

Montreal-based BCE Inc. said that Ericsson AB will provide the radio access network equipment — the critical antennas and base stations — for its 5G network. Telus Corp. said in a separate statement that it has selected Ericsson and Nokia Oyj “to support building” its network, without elaborating.

Those announcements come ahead of a closely watched — and long overdue — decision by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on whether to ban Huawei from participating in the nation’s 5G infrastructure amid deeply troubled relations with Beijing. Huawei previously played a large role in Canadian wireless networks but has faced growing national security concerns from Western governments.

BCE would still consider working with Huawei if the government allows their participation in 5G, the Canadian company said in an e-mailed response to questions.

The Trump administration has lobbied allies to ban Huawei 5G, saying its equipment would make networks vulnerable to exploitation by the Chinese government. Despite that, the U.K. said in January it would allow Huawei a limited role. In recent days, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government has backtracked, saying it seeks to reduce reliance on the company’s technology and on China.

Telus and BCE awarded Huawei its first major project in North America in 2008 — a pivotal contract that helped cement the Chinese provider’s reputation as a global player that could compete on quality. The deal paved the way for it to become a major supplier to all three of Canada’s biggest telecom companies over the next decade.

Stalling in Ottawa

The Telus announcement comes as a particular surprise after Chief Financial Officer Doug French told the National Post in February that “we’re going to launch 5G with Huawei out of the gate” by the end of the year.

Telus spokeswoman Donna Ramirez didn’t immediately respond to a question on whether the company’s announcement still leaves room for Huawei to participate in its 5G rollout. Huawei said in an emailed statement it looks forward to the federal government completing its 5G review and making an evidence-based decision about its role in helping build Canada’s next-generation wireless networks.

Trudeau has stalled on whether to ban Huawei. Tensions between the two countries have been rising since Canadian authorities arrested Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou on a U.S. handover request in late 2018. After her arrest, China put two Canadian citizens in jail, halted billions of dollars in Canadian imports and put two other Canadians on death row.

The extradition proceedings against Meng, the eldest daughter of the company’s billionaire founder, have pushed Canada’s relationship with its second-biggest trading partner into its worst state in decades. Beijing has accused Canada of abetting a U.S.-led “political persecution” against a national champion.

(Updates eighth paragraph with statement from Huawei)

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