More than 200,000 Canadian businesses could close permanently

In a new survey from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), 1 in 6 business owners says they are contemplating shutting down.


Last summer, the CFIB said 1 in 7 businesses or about 158,000 businesses were at risk of shutting down because of the pandemic. The new survey suggests that small business confidence is dwindling further in 2021.

This could mean that more than 2.4 million Canadians could be out of work, which makes up roughly 20 percent of private-sector jobs in Canada, based on CFIB’s updated forecast. 

Currently, small businesses that remain open are only operating at 22% of their normal sales.

At a glance, the province of Ontario appears to be the most ‘closed for business’ province in the country, with Quebec right behind. 

Ontario has 37% of businesses open with staffing at 32% of normal staffing levels. Businesses in Ontario are only making roughly 18% of normal revenue levels. 

The organization forecasts that by the end of the pandemic, 1 in 5 businesses will be at risk of permanent closures. 

The survey was conducted between January 12th and 16th and surveyed 4,129 members. 

The organization on top of forecasting closures is also looking at how long it will take businesses to recovery from the pandemic. 

The CFIB says that the hospitality sector like restaurants and hotels could take 8 years to recover from the economic consequences of COVID-19.

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