COVID-19 Impact on Small Business

The GAP Factory Outlet
The GAP Factory Outlet in Thunder Bay is closing.

THUNDER BAY – BUSINESS – Moving forward out of the pandemic, there are numbers of stores and businesses that have already closed their doors. There are supports there from the government, the wage subsidy has been extended until December. There have been loans for small businesses of up to $40,000 made available as well.

However, for many businesses, that simply might not be enough.

Business closures due to COVID-19
Business closures due to COVID-19

One in Seven Small Businesses At Risk

One in seven small businesses are at risk of going under as a result of COVID-19 in addition to the ones that have already closed, warns the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) in a new report featured on its Small Business Recovery Dashboard, part of its #SmallBusinessEveryDay campaign. CFIB’s mid-range estimate for business closures due to COVID-19 is 158,000 (14 percent of small businesses). Depending on how the recovery goes, losses could be as few as 55,000 (5 percent) or as many as 218,000 (19 percent).

“Small businesses are big players in our economy, so minimizing business losses is critical to recovery. Right now both government support and consumer behaviour are critical to transitioning back to conditions that allow businesses to survive and thrive,” said Laura Jones, Executive Vice-President at CFIB.

Businesses in the arts and recreation (gyms, venues, arcades) and hospitality (restaurants, hotels, caterers) sectors are most at risk—hospitality may see 27 percent of businesses close and arts and recreation, 30 percent. Businesses in Alberta face the highest risk of closing, with a mid-range estimate of 19 percent going under as a result of COVID-19.

CFIB’s latest Small Business Recovery Dashboard results continue to show that (unchanged from last week):

  • 62 percent of small businesses are fully open
  • 37 percent are fully staffed
  • 26 percent are making normal sales

Last month, CFIB launched #SmallBusinessEveryDay to encourage local shopping through a series of doable challenges and promote other initiatives that support small business recovery. Consumers can find information about the many campaigns such as the new Canada United campaign, which will donate funds to hard-hit businesses when Canadians take simple actions like using the hashtag #CanadaUnited on Twitter.

“With many provinces heading into a long weekend, we hope people will visit and accept a challenge as a fun way to spend time with friends and family while helping local businesses. It’s all about supporting our favourite businesses today so they will be here tomorrow. There are many great campaigns that help amplify that support. No one is too small to make a difference,” said Jones.

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