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44% of small firms now fully open, normal sales for only 15%: CFIB

Latest survey shows many regional and sectoral differences remain and some sectors.

June 8, 2020   by PLANT STAFF

TORONTO — Less than half (44%) of small businesses are now fully open, but ahead of two weeks ago at 38%, finds a survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). But only 15% report sales have returned to normal.

CFIB reports many regional and sectoral differences remain and some sectors, particularly restaurants and hospitality, continue to be largely closed.

Manufacturing is ahead of the overall average with 63% of companies reporting they’re open, but only 16% say sales are back to normal.

New Brunswick (59%) and Alberta (54%), Manitoba (50%) and Quebec (49%) have the largest share of open businesses, while Newfoundland and Labrador (24%) continues to trail the rest of the country. Ontario is at 32%.

“There are definite signs that economies are awakening, with more than half of small businesses reporting they are fully open in some provinces,” said CFIB president Dan Kelly. “However, for many recovery is another question as just opening your doors does not guarantee your customers will return. I am deeply worried about the future of businesses in sectors like transportation, health and social services, arts and recreation and restaurants/hospitality as fewer than one in 10 of these firms have sales at or near normal. Our main street businesses will need a lot more support, both from government and from consumers, before the crisis is behind them.”

CFIB notes small businesses were hit hard by lockdowns across the country, and though most provinces have allowed some to reopen with modifications, their recovery is uneven. Only 13% of hospitality/restaurant businesses and 21% of arts and recreation businesses are fully open, compared to 44% of retailers and firms in the personal services sector. Some personal services businesses, like hairdressers, remain closed in most provinces.

The business group has developed a number of tools and resources, including:

• Free access to CFIB’s team of experts for one-on-one advice on all government support programs at cfib.ca/introductoryoffer.

• A downloadable “Back to Business” kit, including information on provincial guidelines, a customizable “We’re open” poster and workplace safety templates at cfib.ca/backtobusiness.

• A PPEs for SMEs Facebook group, where small businesses looking to buy PPE can connect with those that produce it.

 


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