Canadian Manufacturing

Canada could lose an additional 158K small businesses to COVID-19: CFIB

Government and consumer support are make-or-break for small business survival

July 29, 2020  by CM Staff

Business closures due to COVID-19. PHOTO: Canadian Federation of Independent Business

TORONTO — 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% of small businesses). Depending on how the recovery goes, losses could be as few as 55,000 (5%) or as many as 218,000 (19%).

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

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

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CFIB’s latest Small Business Recovery Dashboard results show that:

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


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