WINNIPEG -- There is concern the coronavirus outbreak could be harming more than your health.

Speaking in Calgary Monday morning Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the economic impact from the coronavirus will be “real” and felt “across the country.”

“The impacts on Canada will be real, the impacts on tourism, the impacts on the oil sector, and of course impacts on supply chain for any business that has a supply chain integrated with Chinese producers or consumers,” said Morneau.

In Winnipeg, it’s already taking a toll on local businesses – and business owners expect it will only get worse.

Dan Henrickson is the owner of Tech ESL China and Tech ESL Korea, a local business which helps Canadians find teaching jobs in China.

A task Henrickson says has become increasingly difficult since the coronavirus outbreak.

“Now it almost seems a little bit challenging when you mention China,” said Henrickson.

“'Hey would you like to go to China, p.s. we know of the coronavirus,’ it gets a pretty quick no, so that's going to torpedo our business for the next few months at least.”

Henrickson said some of his teachers are backing out or cancelling their contracts and say they no longer want to work in china.

“This is the busiest time of the year and China is a rather lucrative side of the ESL industry,” said Henrickson.

“To have at least 25 per cent, potentially 50 per cent of our business cancelling in a really short period of time and then not being able to replace that income very easily it’s tough."


Henrickson isn’t the only one concerned - John Salgueiro is the owner of JS Furniture Gallery and says many of his manufacturers are based in china.

“We have a lot of merchandise booked, it's supposed to be on the way, and it's just not coming,” said Salgueiro.

He said for him the impact so far has been minimal, but he worries it could severely effect his business and others in the future.

“Eventually it's going to affect us quite a bit,” said Salgueiro. “Because the supply chain is not there, it's going to affect not just us, but all of the manufacturers in Canada, every industry.”

The long term effect is also a major concern for Henrickson. 

“I'm worried over the next three to six months how things will play out,” he said.