covid small business

Canada could lose another 158,000 small businesses to COVID-19

One in seven small businesses is at risk of going under as a result of COVID-19

The stark warning comes in a new report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).  

CFIB's mid-range estimate for business closures due to COVID-19 is 158,000 (14 per cent of small businesses). 

Depending on how the recovery goes, losses could be as few as 55,000 (5 per cent) or as many as 218,000 (19 per cent), in addition to the businesses that have already shuttered since the beginning of the pandemic. 

Businesses in the arts and recreation sector (gyms, venues, arcades) and hospitality industry (restaurants, hotels, caterers) are most at risk, according to the report.

The CFIB forecasts that hospitality may see 27 per cent of businesses close, while the arts and recreation sector could see 30 per cent.

Businesses in Alberta face the highest risk of shutting, with a mid-range estimate of 19 per cent going under as a result of COVID-19.

"Small businesses are big players in our economy, so minimizing business losses is critical to recovery," said Laura Jones, executive vice-president at CFIB.

"Right now both government support and consumer behaviour are critical to transitioning back to conditions that allow businesses to survive and thrive."

Last month, CFIB launched #SmallBusinessEveryDay to encourage local shopping and other initiatives that support small business recovery.

Jones added: "It's all about supporting our favourite businesses today so they will be here tomorrow. There are many great campaigns that help amplify that support. No one is too small to make a difference."

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez


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