The COVID-19 pandemic presents specific challenges to Canadians and businesses. ‘Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan’ is the federal government’s response to the crisis. The Economic Response Plan is meant to provide program supports for businesses to weather the storm. This report assesses the perspective of Canadian technology scale-ups: what is their top economic concern and what do they think about the federal support being offered? Further, what do they think about the government response overall? Is there anything more that the government should do to support scale-ups?

The Innovation Policy Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, in collaboration with Methodify by Delvinia, established a new mechanism for eliciting feedback from Canadian scale-ups. Based on a poll of 42 CEOs or firm executives of Canadian technology scale-ups taken between Friday, March 27 and Monday, March 30, 2020, researchers find the following:

– Majority of respondents cite ‘revenue’ as their top concern right now, not payroll or other business concerns
– Among government support available, ‘interest-free loans’ are most supported
– When given an open-ended question, most respondents are positive about the government’s response but are unclear how scale-ups, in particular, will be supported
– When asked what more government should do, one-quarter of those who answered think the government should consider procurement options

Based on these findings, the set of policies that the federal government has proposed does alleviate short term cost concerns by technology scale-ups. However, technology scale-ups are also looking towards the future, in order to ensure a stable revenue stream


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