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Many Canadians feel safer shopping at small businesses than big retailers: CFIB

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Summary

CFIB says new survey shows many Canadians feel safer shopping at small businesses than big chains

Business group is calling on governments to adopt a 'Small Business First' COVID-19 policy

CFIB wants to see governments keep small businesses open amid the holidays

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – There is more positive news for small businesses heading into the holidays, with new polling showing many of us appear to feel safer shopping there than at big box retailers.

According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, nearly three quarters of Canadians feel that way.

“These next few weeks are so critically important for small retailers,” says Dan Kelly, CFIB president and CEO. “We’re OK with restrictions, we understand that there’s a deadly pandemic going on, but small companies, typically, can do a much, much better job of protecting against COVID risk than, say, people lining up at the local Costco or Walmart.”

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He notes small businesses can also enforce mandatory measures, like masks, better than bigger retailers.

“And consumers recognize that. They get that small businesses are in a better position to protect them against COVID risk, and that’s why we’re urging all provinces to continue to find ways to keep small businesses open over the holidays,” he explains.

Small businesses have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced many to shut down either temporarily or permanently.

The CFIB says current restrictions that have forced small retailers to shut down in parts of Ontario are bizzare and calls on governments to adopt a “Small Business First” COVID-19 policy.

“Small businesses are seen by the public to offer a safer shopping experience, so allowing them to remain open and then potentially putting capacity restraints on larger businesses would make an awful lot more sense than an across-the-board lockdown,” Kelly adds.