CFIB Report Estimates 21,116 Small Businesses At Risk Of Closure In BC

July 29, 2020

One in seven small businesses in Canada are at risk of going under as a result of COVID-19 in addition to the ones that have already closed, warns the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) in a new report featured on its Small Business Recovery Dashboard, part of its #SmallBusinessEveryDay campaign. 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).

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

Results for British Columbia

CFIB estimates business closures in BC due to COVID-19 will range between 6,395 (low end estimate: 4 per cent) and 28,820 (high end estimate: 16 per cent), with a mid range estimate of 21,116 (12 per cent). 

“It is an unfortunate reality that not all small businesses will make it through the pandemic. British Columbians play an integral role in business recovery, which is why it is so important to choose local purchasing options wherever possible. It is vital we take action now to minimize negative economic consequences,” says Muriel Protzer, Senior Policy Analyst, BC and the North.

Businesses in the arts and recreation (gyms, venues, arcades) and hospitality (restaurants, hotels, caterers) sectors are most at risk—hospitality may see 27 per cent of businesses close and arts and recreation, 30 per cent. Businesses in Alberta face the highest risk of closing, with a mid-range estimate of 19 per cent going under as a result of COVID-19.

CFIB’s latest Small Business Recovery Dashboard results continue to show that (unchanged from last week):


62 per cent of small businesses are fully open

37 per cent are fully staffed

26 per cent are making normal sales 

Last month, CFIB launched #SmallBusinessEveryDay to encourage local shopping through a series of doable challenges and promote other initiatives that support small business recovery. Consumers can find information about the many campaigns such as the new Canada United campaign, which will donate funds to hard-hit businesses when Canadians take simple actions like using the hashtag #CanadaUnited on Twitter.

“With many provinces heading into a long weekend, we hope people will visit and accept a challenge as a fun way to spend time with friends and family while helping local businesses. 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,” said Jones.

Read CFIB’s full research snapshot for more details.




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