Canadian Manufacturing

Small business faces unsustainable L-shaped recovery if sales remain at a crawl

by CM Staff   

Financing Small Business Public Sector

It will be years before most businesses report normal revenues again, according to research

Businesses are slowly beginning to reopen amid COVID-19. PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons


TORONTO — If recovery maintains its current glacial pace, it will take small businesses a year and five months to return to normal sales, with the hospitality sector taking more than eight years, warns the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) in a recent report.

CFIB looked at the pace of revenue recovery between June, when many businesses were open again but only 17% had normal sales, and the latest September survey results, which showed only modest improvement with 30% of all businesses making normal sales. Assuming revenues keep returning to normal at that same pace, it will be years before most businesses report normal revenues again.

“This underscores the need to kick the recovery into a higher gear. The current situation just isn’t sustainable for too many businesses,” said Laura Jones, executive vice-president at CFIB, in a statement. “One simple thing every politician in the country can do right now is talk about the importance of supporting small business. Many have participated in the #SmallBusinessEveryDay movement already. Our survey results show small businesses want and need this kind of leadership.”


According to CFIB’s regular update of its Small Business Recovery Dashboard:

  • 70% of small businesses are now fully open
  • 42% are fully staffed
  • 30% are making normal sales

“There is no economic recovery without small business recovery. We want small business owners to know they’re not alone: there is a movement growing around them to support and encourage them and hopefully shorten the journey back to more normal sales,” concluded Simon Gaudreault, senior director of national research at CFIB.


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