One in seven small businesses in Canada face closure

Photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo Inc. / pitamaha

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business warns as many as 158,000 small businesses across Canada could close their doors for good because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It said one in seven across the country, in addition to ones already closed, could go out of business.

Its new report’s mid-range estimate for business closures says, depending on how the recovery after COVID-19 goes, as few as 55,000, or as many as 218,000 small businesses could disappear nationwide.

The mid-range forecast for Ontario ranges from 23,545 to 90,253, or 22 per cent of small enterprises are at risk.

“Small businesses are big players in our economy, so minimizing business losses is critical to recovery,” said Executive Vice-President Laura Jones. “Right now, both government support and consumer behaviour are critical to transitioning back to conditions that allow businesses to survive and thrive.”

“It’s encouraging that government and health officials have determined that most businesses across the province can open. However, small business owners need more than open doors to make up for lost time and sales,” said Director of Provincial Affairs in Ontario Ryan Mallough. “These summer months are essential to generating as much revenue as possible, while business owners brace for a potential second wave in the fall.”

Across the country, the federation says gyms, arcades, and performance venues, restaurants, and hotels are most at risk. In the hospitality sector, 27 per cent of businesses could close. In arts and recreation, the number is 30 per cent.

According to the federation, 55 per cent of small businesses are fully open, and 35 per cent are fully staffed. Only 23 per cent are making normal sales.