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Second wave of COVID-19 would devastate Canada's small businesses: CFIB

Last Updated Oct 8, 2020 at 11:06 am PDT

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

Small businesses are urging the province, feds to have plans in place to support them in case of a second shutdown

The CFIB wants supports for businesses rolled out immediately

CFIB also wants to see shutdowns that are targeted to sectors of greatest concern, if they are to happen

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – As we are warned of more cases of COVID-19, small businesses in Canada say a second wave would be devastating.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is urging federal and provincial governments to do everything possible to avoid further shutdowns and ensure strong and immediate economic supports are in place.

“We’ve had time to prepare, to make sure that the public is prepared from a safety perspective. But we’ve also had time to make sure that the economic supports are not only in place, but perfected,” Dan Kelly with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business says.

The CFIB wants supports for businesses rolled out immediately, if needed. Kelly says it was understandable that they weren’t available right out of the gate when COVID-19 first arrived, but things have since changed.

“There are no excuses. I mean, for goodness sakes, we’ve had the pandemic with us for six, seven months,” Kelly says.

“So we need to have governments prepared to ensure that there are supports ready to go the minute that any additional business closures are issued. And, of course, we are hoping that there are no, or very few, business closures along the way.”

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The CFIB would like to see comprehensive, ready-to-go aid in place as soon as possible, and also wants the government to ensure shutdowns are consistent and targeted to the sectors of greatest concern.

In addition to this, Kelly says the federation wants decisions to be backed by transparent healthcare policy evidence.

Kelly notes too many small businesses are still struggling with the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. He believes it will be a massive failure on the part of the provincial government if it announces further shutdowns without supports in place first.

A recent CFIB survey has found more than half of small businesses in Canadian say they would not easily survive a second wave.