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Sales low despite half of Canadian small businesses reopening: CFIB

Last Updated Jun 16, 2020 at 9:06 am PDT

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

CFIB finds small businesses are struggling to bring in usual sales despite many reopening after COVID-19 closures

New Brunswick leads the country with the highest number of businesses reopened

Ontario has seen the fewest reopenings

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – While half of small businesses across the country have reopened, sales remain low.

A survey from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business finds it’s still a struggle for many, with just 17 per cent of businesses bringing in usual sales.

The hospitality sector continues to be hard hit — right across the country — with just 18 per cent opening their doors

Dan Kelly, president of the CFIB, says New Brunswick leads the country with about two-thirds of its businesses open. It’s followed by Saskatchewan, which has seen 66 per cent of businesses reopen, and Quebec at 61 per cent.

Alberta and Manitoba trail behind, with just 57 per cent of businesses open, and B.C. stands in the middle of the pack. Only 52 per cent of businesses in British Columbia have reopened amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ontario has seen the fewest reopenings, with only 43 per cent.

“This week marks a major milestone in Canada’s economic recovery with half of small businesses now fully open,” says Kelly. “However, the share of those making normal sales remains very low. Only 30 per cent of firms that are fully open report normal sales levels. This tells us that we have a long, long way to go before small firms are out of the woods.”

Nova Scotia and Ontario are struggling the most when it comes to sales, with just 12 and 14 per cent of businesses in those provinces reporting usual sales revenues for this time of year.