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Shop local to fuel small business recovery: CFIB

Last Updated Aug 5, 2020 at 1:24 pm PDT

FILE - The empty shelves of a shut-down food shop are pictured in the Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver, B.C. Tuesday, March 24, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business says small business confidence has fallen to a new low amid the COVID-19 pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Summary

Just one in four small businesses are back to pre-pandemic sales numbers, according to a CFIB survey

The CFIB is encouraging Canadians to shop local this summer to fuel recovery for small businesses

According the CFIB, 63 per cent of small businesses are fully open -- an increase of 10 per cent since June

TORONTO (NEWS 1130) — Just one in four small businesses are back to pre-pandemic sales numbers, according to a survey from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

The CFIB is encouraging Canadians to shop local this summer to fuel recovery as many small business owners worry consumer spending is going to continue to be muted even as more businesses reopen across the country.

According to the CFIB, 63 per cent of small businesses are fully open — an increase of 10 per cent since June.

Another 39 per cent are fully staffed — an increase of seven per cent.

Sales are up seven per cent, but just 26 per cent of small businesses are making normal sales.

“This summer has been a hard one for small businesses. As Canadians drive or walk through their neighbourhoods, they see more open shops and restaurants and may believe that businesses are back to normal operations. But behind the counter, the story is often very different,” Dan Kelly, CFIB president, says in a release.

“Only a quarter of small firms report their sales are at normal levels, and another quarter remain down by 50 per cent or more.”

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More than three out of five business owners are worried that consumer spending will remain low, even following the COVID-19 crisis.

CFIB released a report last week, showing one in seven small businesses are at risk of closing as a result of COVID-19, in addition to those that already have.

Canada could see at least 55,000 businesses shut their doors permanently or many as 218,000, depending on how its recovery goes, according to CFIB.

“With just one month left this summer, CFIB urges Canadians to make this the summer of small business. Every Canadian can make a big difference by choosing to support local businesses, whether it buying from a small local retailer rather than a big brand or box store, or asking friends about their favourite local businesses and checking them out,” says Kelly.

“We hope to see Canadians out in force supporting small businesses throughout August.”