Canadian small business owners optimistic as economy reopens: survey
Survey reveals almost three quarters of small business owners feel prepared to reopen business safely
TORONTO — On June 15, GoDaddy, a database for entrepreneurs, released data from a new survey that revealed 73% of Canadian small business owners feel prepared to make changes when they reopen to the public.
Smaller-sized businesses (one to four employees) and those in Quebec (63%) are more likely to feel very prepared to reopen their business safely. About 9% say they are very unprepared to reopen their business safely.
Improving online tools was the top adaptation business owners made, the survey shows. 37% of respondents said they plan to maintain their online presence even once they can physically reopen. Prior to shut down, about half of small businesses had a social media presence and roughly the same number had a website. An additional 25% of entrepreneurs have now created a website or started a social media account to help market their businesses as they remain closed physically.
According to the survey, the main challenge businesses owners have faced is understanding changes in consumer spending behaviour (43%). Other challenges include ensuring hygiene standards (27%), issues in supply chain (26%), working from home (25%) paying employees (24 per cent) and paying rent (23%). Despite these challenges business owners are taking the steps they need and continue to remain optimistic about reopening.
“It is promising to see the resilience and eagerness of Canadian small business owners and entrepreneurs to get back to work,” said Anne De Aragon, vice-president and country manager of GoDaddy Canada, in a prepared statement. “Amidst these challenging times, we have seen small businesses adapt and rise through sheer determination. To help do so, many of them have created or enhanced their online presence with a website and other online tools.”
The survey found that almost half of businesses responded that they are offering free tools and resources and implemented programs to help vulnerable customers or employees. 88% of small business owners surveyed said they plan to continue to shop locally even after the economy reopens. And a majority of small business owners (69%) say ordering products and services online is the best way for Canadians to support local businesses.