Canadian Manufacturing

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

July 22, 2021  by CM Staff

Despite continued pandemic hardships, close to 70 per cent of business owners in Canada feel optimistic about the long-term: CIBC Poll (CNW Group/CIBC)

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.

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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%).