Annual Business Survey

A man and woman conduct an interview outside

The Annual Business Survey was developed and implemented for the first time in 2015.  This data collection tool is used by the Economic Development Team to gather valuable economic data that identifies challenges and allows us to develop strategies to assist our local business community. 

Each year the annual survey is completed between mid-December and  mid-January and continues to sees more participation each year.  Having more businesses participate leads to more accurate information, and allows us to track results while identifying new trends or challenges.

In 2019, based on feedback received from employers through the annual business review surveys, the Economic Development Team completed consultations to better understand local workforce development challenges. See the Workforce Report.


2021 Report and Overview

The 2021 Business Survey Report received 234 business responses. Highlights include: 

  • 573 total businesses. 
  • 91% are happy doing business. 
  • 44% noted the pandemic continued to be their biggest challenge. 
2020 Report and Overview/COVID-19 Impact Report

The 2020 Business Survey Report received 256 business responses. Highlights include:

  • 563 total businesses.
  • 97% are happy doing business.
  • 57% noted Covid was their biggest challenge, with seasonality not being noted being in steady decline year over year.
  • Approximately 142 jobs are to be filled in 2021, with 45% being full time.


The Covid Effect - Pandemic Assessment Report was completed at the end of 2020 to determine impacts to local businesses.

  • A survey was completed in March 2020 and again as part of the Annual Business Survey.
  • Businesses have been able to adapt with many embracing digital technologies to pivot operations.
  • 98% were open and were generally positive about the future.
  • 58% of business revenues stayed the same or increased from the previous year.


2019 Report and Overview

The 2019 Business Survey Report marks the 5th consecutive year of the program.  This year the report received 309 responses. Highlights include:

  • 93% Business owners are generally happy doing business in Gravenhurst.
  • 38% of businesses reported an increase in profit (down from 69% in 2018).
  • Net increase of 75 full-time permanent positions.
  • Of the companies surveyed, 108 are intending on hiring accounting professionals for 268 potential positions.
  • While 31 businesses opened in 2019 (the most since this survey began in 2015), a net decrease of businesses were active as a result of 35 closing. Most of the businesses that closed in 2019 were individuals operating as side/casual business, with many deciding to either retire or take employment with another company.
2018 Report and Overview

The 2018 Business Survey Report received 236 responses. Highlights include:

  • 23 New businesses opened in 2018.
  • Increase in business satisfaction to 92%, with 17% saying their business outlook is more positive.
  • Net increase of 115 new positions with the majority being full-time permanent and full-time seasonal positions.
  • Net decrease of 18 part-time seasonal positions, seeing most of these being converted to full-time positions.
  • 64 Business were looking to fill a combined total of 137 positions in 2019.
  • 6% of businesses are looking for new or bigger space, however 4% said finding available locations has become a challenge due to lack of availability.
  • 69% Reported an increase in profit.
 2017 Report and Overview

The 2017 Business Survey Report received 217 responses. Highlights include: 

  • 54 first-time responses from businesses that did not previously take part, or were new businesses recently opening. 
  • Business satisfaction with the local economy grew from 56% to 81%. Only 1% declared dissatisfaction.
  • An increased number of owners who invested in their buildings and their business.
  • This survey tracked real-time job creation from businesses who responded in two subsequent years:
    • Net increase of 54 new full-time permanent positions;
    • Net increase of 20 new part-time permanent positions;
    • Net increase of 10 new full-time seasonal positions; and
    • Net decrease of 22 part-time seasonal positions, which is an expected result of companies struggling to find qualified seasonal employees.
  • 35 business owners are intending to transition out of their businesses in the next 5 years, where only 9 of these have succession plans.
  • 17% of businesses are home based.
 2016 Report and Overview
The 2016 Business Survey Report was well received, with 209 businesses providing responses. Highlights include:
  • An increase of 111 new jobs, 53 being full-time positions.
  • 66% of respondents were either satisfied or very satisfied with the business climate in Gravenhurst.
  • Over the previous two years, 58.2% of businesses have seen an increase in profits while only 9.5% have seen a decrease.
2015 Report and Overview
The 2015 Survey Report was the first year we started to formally reach out to our business community annually.  This first year we spoke to 200 local businesses. We received great data as well as comments and suggestions about how business could improve in Gravenhurst.

 For more information about the business survey please contact the Economic Development Team.

Contact Us

Kayla Jager
Economic Development Coordinator

Economic Development

T. 705-687-2230 ext.2258