Despite pandemic, close to 70% of business owners in Canada feel optimistic: CIBC poll
More entrepreneurs seeing brighter days ahead than last year, and the number of those feeling negatively impacted is dropping
TORONTO — A new CIBC study suggests business owners in Canada feel brighter days may be ahead: 69% say they feel optimistic about the long-term future of their business. Findings also show there is a downward trend in how business owners feel they have been negatively impacted by COVID-19: 58%, down from 68% reported in November 2020 and 81% in April 2020.
“Canadian business owners continue to show extraordinary resilience during these difficult times,” said David Leuty, Senior Vice-President, Business Banking, CIBC, in a prepared statement. “As the economy moves toward opening up, I encourage owners to seek advice about any additional relief they may need, including help with cash-flow management or additional future-proofing to meet their long-term ambitions.”
Top concerns remain similar to when the pandemic first broke, but amongst fewer business owners. A reduced demand for products/services is still a worry for 34% (-18 percentage points from last April), while 21 per cent have concerns for the overall viability of their shops (-11 percentage points from last April). Conversely, there is a slight uptick in worries over the availability of inventory/materials for 19%, up seven percentage points from April 2020.
In order to manage through the pandemic and into the future, many business owners have implemented a number of changes. A quarter (26%) say they have undertaken health and safety measures beyond legislative requirements, while a similar number (25%) say they have increased their online presence and 21% have introduced new payment technologies. Almost a third (29%) reduced operating expenses to get through the crisis while 20% had to dip into savings.
Main ambitions moving forward are to grow their business (34%), go from surviving to thriving (32%), remain operational (29%) and develop new revenue sources (25%).