Canada / Coronavirus Insights
Canadian Industry Call and Do Not Call List

What information do you want to see from IBISWorld on COVID-19? We'd love to hear from you

by Jeremy Moses and Nick Masters
May 07 2020

To facilitate business development in Canadian markets, IBISWorld has compiled lists of Canadian industries that are most receptive to productivity-enhancing products or services. This list is categorized into themes corresponding with the current economic and social situation. In addition to industries experiencing heightened levels of activity, IBISWorld has compiled a list of Canadian sectors which are seeing below-average activity and may not be receptive to business development opportunities. Overall, this list serves to encourage economic synergy among businesses and thus a stronger foundation for economic recovery.


Call – Industries facilitating:

Remote work and learning

Work – The rapid increase in the amount of companies operating through remote work has caused a surge in demand for software and systems that facilitate remote business continuity. Businesses are expected to further develop and maintain remote work capabilities as a hedge against possible future disruptions, along with the potential financial benefits of reducing expenditures on office space. These capabilities include cloud computing capabilities (51821CA) and the use of external B2B services (51121CA). Additionally, benefits administration services (56111CA) may see increased activity, as organizations seek to assist their employees in accessing government assistance programs. Additionally, organizations are likely to seek out mental health programs for their employees due to the additional stress caused by the pandemic.

Learning – Educational institutions of all levels are undergoing a far-reaching transition to fully online classes, which is requiring many of these institutions to seek external assistance. Many of the industries facilitating remote work will also serve the education sector. IT consultants (54151CA) with expertise in educational technologies are expected to be leveraged by both public and privately-funded educational institutions to help teachers and administrators adapt to online teaching.


E-commerce and entertainment

E-commerce (45411aCA) is expected to grow substantially due to widespread closures of nonessential businesses. Online sales of nondiscretionary goods are surging due to social distancing measures and panic shopping. Additionally, homebound individuals are consuming more media of various types. Social media and video streaming services (53223CA) largely characterize this consumption. However, Canada, along with the United States, has had outbreaks of COVID-19 in warehouses used by e-commerce companies, including an outbreak in an Amazon Canada warehouse in Alberta, potentially impeding day-to-day operations for companies in this industry.


Healthcare solutions and Virus mitigation

Productivity & capacity – Industries upstream in the supply chain of hospitals and other medical services will see an uptick in demand. Supplier categories expected to be most important are medical device manufacturers, medical supplies and equipment manufacturers and medical supplies wholesalers. The Canadian federal government has centralized purchases of personal protective equipment (PPE), distributing them to provinces on the basis of need, providing stable cash flow to companies in the Medical Instrument & Supply Manufacturing industry (33911aCA). Lastly, ancillary services such as Waste Treatment & Disposal Services for contaminated medical waste (56221CA) will also be widely needed.

As lockdown and social distancing measures throughout Canada begin to ease, industries involved in the prevention of further infection and treatment of existing infection are expected to be in high demand from both public and private organizations. Janitorial Services (56172CA) is expected see an increase in demand as public buildings, offices, stores and restaurants seek to mitigate further infection. For example, at the start of the pandemic in March, Montreal announced it would be disinfecting its trains and buses daily, a trend that is expected to become widespread throughout the country.


Small business relief

Advisory – Small and medium-sized businesses are expected to seek external assistance at the provincial and federal level to maintain operations. The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada are coordinating with private sector lenders (52211CA) to distribute credit to individual businesses. Advisory and accounting services (54121cCA, 54121bCA) will be useful to small businesses to prepare for further business discontinuity and how best to use available government assistance programs. Advisory services offered under the Management Consulting industry (54161CA) are expected to see an increase in demand.


Don’t Call

The majority of companies operating in these sectors are being adversely impacted by social distancing measures.

Accommodation and Food Services Sector (72)

This sector is primarily made up of small businesses dependent on consumer spending. As a result of the current circumstances, sector revenue is forecast to decline in 2020. However, the sector is among the primary beneficiaries of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy administered by the Canada Revenue Agency, insulating companies in this sector from further decline.

Mining in Canada (21)

In addition to the broad macroeconomic contraction, the Mining sector is facing particular strain due to the impact of this pandemic on global oil prices. The Oil Drilling & Gas Extraction industry in Canada (21111CA) is expected to be particularly hard hit by this trend. However, companies in this sector are eligible to receive repayable contributions from the Emissions Reduction Fund in order to support investments in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Construction (23)

Construction activity is expected to decline due to an overall contraction in macroeconomic activity. However, businesses in this sector will also be able to access credit assistance programs administered by the BDCA, potentially reducing the strain of the pandemic on companies in this sector.

Manufacturing (31-33)

The Manufacturing sector is also characterized by small-to-medium sized businesses. This sector is very diverse and sensitive to global commodity prices, particularly in regions with heavy activity in the mining sector, such as Alberta. Reduced industrial activity and consumer spending will result in a decline in manufacturing utilization rates. However, certain corners of the industry related to medical supplies are expected to deviate significantly from the sector’s overall decline.

Retail (44-45)

The closure of nonessential businesses has caused a significant loss in sales, a trend that is expected to continue in the immediate future. However, retailers of nondiscretionary items (i.e. essential businesses) and e-commerce operators represent major outliers from the sector’s overall decline.