Small business faces unsustainable slow recovery if sales crawl


Economy Industry Manufacturing COVID-19 Economy manufacturing slaes small business

CFIB says with current slow recovery, businesses will take a year and five months to return to normal sales.

TORONTO —  If recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic maintains its current pace, small businesses will take an average a year and five months to return to normal sales, says the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) in its latest Small Business Recovery Dashboard report.

The national association representing small businesses across multiple sectors CFIB looked at the pace of revenue recovery between June, when many businesses were open again but only 17% had normal sales, and the latest September results, which showed only modest improvement with 30% of all businesses reporting normal sales.

Assuming this pace continues, CFIB says it will be years before most businesses report normal revenues again.

Manufacturing is looking at a year and two months for sales to return to normal.


Hospitality would be the most affected, taking more than eight years for sales to normalize.

“This underscores the need to kick the recovery into a higher gear. The current situation just isn’t sustainable for too many businesses,” said Laura Jones, executive vice-president at CFIB. “One simple thing every politician in the country can do right now is talk about the importance of supporting small business. Many have participated in the #SmallBusinessEveryDay movement already. Our survey results show small businesses want and need this kind of leadership.”

CFIB’s Small Business Recovery Dashboard shows:

• 70% of small businesses are now fully open (64% two weeks ago)
• 42% are fully staffed (41% two weeks ago)
• 30% are making normal sales (28%).

Final results for survey #12 are from June 6 to June 11, n = 5,961, with a margin of error of +/-1.3%, 19 times out of 20. Survey #20 results from Sept. 10 to Sept.14, n = 1,807, has a margin of error of +/-2.3%, 19 times out of 20.


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