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Small business sales struggle after reopening: CFIB survey

More than three out of five business owners are worried that consumer spending will remain low, according to CFIB

August 5, 2020   by PLANT STAFF

Reopening for business adapt to new normal in the novel Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.(Chansom Pantip/Adobe Stock)

TORONTO — Only one in four small businesses are back to making normal sales, according to new data from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)’s Small Business Recovery Dashboard, part of its #SmallBusinessEveryDay campaign. Canada’s small business owners worry consumer spending is going to continue to be muted even as more businesses reopen across the country.

CFIB’s latest Small Business Recovery Dashboard results show:

  • 63% of small businesses are fully open
  • 39% are fully staffed
  • 26% are making normal sales

“As Canadians drive or walk through their neighbourhoods, they see more open shops and restaurants and may believe that businesses are back to normal operations. But behind the counter, the story is often very different,” said Dan Kelly, CFIB president, in a prepared statement. “Only a quarter of small firms report their sales are at normal levels, and another quarter remain down by 50% or more.”

More than three out of five business owners are worried that consumer spending will remain low, even following the COVID-19 crisis. Last week, CFIB released a report showing one in seven small businesses (158,000) are at risk of going under as a result of COVID-19, on top of the ones that have already closed. Canada could see as few as 55,000 businesses shut their doors permanently or many as 218,000, depending on how its recovery goes.

“With just one month left this summer, CFIB urges Canadians to make this the summer of small business,” said Kelly. “We hope to see Canadians out in force supporting small businesses throughout August.”


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