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Canadian small businesses hurt further by COVID-19 second wave: survey

Last Updated Oct 29, 2020 at 10:13 am PST

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

Half of small businesses in Canada have seen a further drop in sales amid the second wave of COVID-19: CFIB

A new survey found that more than a third of all businesses report they are losing money every day they are open

Firms in the hospitality, arts, and recreation sector are most affected, says CFIB

TORONTO (NEWS 1130) — Half of small businesses in Canada have seen a further drop in sales amid the second wave of COVID-19, according to a new survey.

That number jumps to almost 70 per cent in areas like Winnipeg and Toronto, where new pandemic-related restrictions have been implemented, says the latest survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

“Small businesses still haven’t recovered from the first wave of COVID-19 lockdown measures. In fact, 37 per cent of all businesses across Canada report they are actually losing money every day they are open,” says CFIB president Dan Kelly.

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“The new round of restrictions in several regions are already proving to be devastating to them, especially as new supports from government remain in the development stage,” says the study.

Firms in the hospitality, arts, and recreation sector are most affected, according to the survey, which also found businesses in sectors unaffected by new provincial restrictions have also seen sales drop recently.

“A second wave is therefore likely to have widespread effects on the economy, and small businesses will need all the support they can get during these critical times,” the study reads further.

The CFIB is calling on all governments to help. The group wants to see a 90 per cent top-up of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and provincial supports for all firms subject to new closures.

The CFIB is also asking for retroactive rent support to firms whose landlords refused to participate in the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance from April to September

“An alarming 71 per cent of small business owners say that governments need to do a better job at reporting COVID-19 related health statistics in order to support consumer confidence. A growing number of small firms are feeling punished by provincial governments despite taking major steps to protect the health and well-being of their customers and employees,” Kelly says.

“This needs to change.”