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Small business owners cautiously optimistic about the future: report

69% stating their business is better equipped to survive a second wave of the pandemic.

October 7, 2020   by PLANT STAFF

Businesses are slowly beginning to reopen amid
COVID-19. PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons

TORONTO — Canadian small business owners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic remain cautiously optimistic about their future, according to Scotiabank’s recent New Path to Impact Report.

Two-thirds of businesses report being in a worse situation now, compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet 40% of  owners are ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ optimistic about the future of their business.

Most businesses are feeling more prepared, with 69% stating their business is better equipped to survive a second wave of the pandemic.

“The resiliency of Canadian business owners throughout the pandemic has been commendable,” said Jason Charlebois, senior vice-president, Small Business, Scotiabank.

He advised companies chart a new path forward starting with a plan, to seek advice early, use the resources available, and be ready to pivot.

The report also found:

  • The number one priority for small business owners is to increase sales through additional channels over the next three months.
  • Three in 10 small businesses anticipate continued financial difficulties in the short term including reduced revenue, less work, reduced consumer spending, and slow overall growth.
  • 63% of small business owners say they do not foresee the need for additional financing to continue their operation, with smaller firms being less likely to require more financing.
  • Majority of small businesses (60%) experienced decreased sales and revenue since the pandemic first began, with two-thirds taking advantage of relief programs to help sustain their business.
  • Most industries state they’re better equipped to survive a second wave of the pandemic — however, this sentiment is lower in the Construction industry, where 55% of business owners are prepared versus 69% on average (all industries).

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