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CFIB calls on provinces to help small businesses as pandemic restrictions return

Last Updated Apr 1, 2021 at 9:00 am PDT

Space available on storefronts is shown on Queen Street in Toronto on Thursday, April 16, 2020. Health officials and the government have asked that people stay inside to help curb the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Many provinces have reintroduced restrictions in an attempt to stem rising COVID-19 case counts

CFIB says first two shutdowns were devastating for small businesses

TORONTO — The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is asking provincial governments for lockdown alternatives and increased financial support for small businesses.

The call comes as provinces move to reintroduce restrictions in many areas in an attempt to stem rising COVID-19 case counts.

CFIB president Dan Kelly says the first two shutdowns were devastating with one in six businesses considering permanent closure.

The group says a survey found that two thirds of small businesses would consider using COVID-19 rapid tests to remain open.

CFIB says Canadian small businesses on average have taken on $170,000 in COVID-19-related debt.

It says three quarters of respondents said it will take more than a year to pay off.