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HomeNewsCOVID dealt blow to consumer confidence in Kootenays, survey finds

COVID dealt blow to consumer confidence in Kootenays, survey finds

A survey of Kootenay-Boundary residents finds most are happy with their quality of life, but the pandemic prompted them to keep a tighter grip on their wallets.

Last September, Selkirk Innovates asked 400 residents over 100 questions related to their well-being on a variety of topics.

Researcher Jayme Jones says the results suggests residents are highly satisfied with their personal and community well-being.

But compared to a similar survey from 2019, many areas showed decreases.

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“While caution should be used when comparing between survey years because different residents were polled in each year, this comparison is valuable when thinking about what factors may have contributed to these changes, such as the pandemic and extreme weather events,” she wrote.

Respondents provided opinions on five economic questions which Selkirk Innovates then used to come up with a consumer confidence index. A high index means people tend to make more purchases. A low index means they spend less and save more.

The survey results from 2021 produced an index of 45 per cent, which was a 22 per cent decrease compared to 2019.

Blame that on COVID, Jones says. Sixty per cent of respondents indicated their family finances are about the same, but 54 per cent said their employment is worse off. Just under half agreed with the statement “I am worried about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

However, other subjective well-being results indicated respondents are happy with their jobs and quality of the local environment.

“With a strong sense of community, most would recommend their community as a good place to live and are not considering moving,” Jones wrote.

“They feel the landscape of their community is attractive and say that livability is generally getting better. Most buy local, exercise regularly, and donate to charity.”

Jones says the results, along with other objective indicators, provide key information for decision-making.

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