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A normally busy street is nearly deserted in downtown Vancouver, on March 17, 2020.

JONATHAN HAYWARD/The Canadian Press

Business organizations across British Columbia say revenues have plunged among their members and that paints an “ominous picture” for the economy.

The BC Chamber of Commerce, Greater Vancouver Board of Trade and Business Council of British Columbia say of 1,900 businesses were surveyed, about half have seen revenues drop by 75 per cent or more.

Two-thirds of the businesses report revenues are down by at least 50 per cent.

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A statement from the organizations says the data reveals what businesses and workers are experiencing now and what they expect to face in the future.

It says more than half of businesses contacted worry they will be insolvent or not have the fiscal capacity to restart their business.

Roughly the same number expect any economic rebound will be slow while just 14 per cent anticipate a speedy recovery.

Val Litwin, president and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce says governments are seeking solutions to help struggling businesses, but owners need immediate help.

“With these survey results entrepreneurs are sending a clear message to Ottawa and Victoria: they need enhanced supports now because time is running out,” Mr. Litwin says in the statement.

“Governments must focus on getting subsidies and credits to businesses quickly.”

The organizations say opinions among their members are divided about the effectiveness of announced government support, possibly because most funds have not yet started to flow.

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OpenLab, a member of Toronto’s University Health Network, saw a need to help low-income seniors get groceries while isolating due to COVID-19. Within 10 days they turned around a year's worth of research into a hotline with hundreds of volunteers ready to help. The Globe and Mail

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