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Small businesses already seeing drop in sales due to COVID-19: CFIB survey

Last Updated Mar 17, 2020 at 8:58 am EDT

In this illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). This virus was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. (CDC via AP, File)

TORONTO — A new survey suggests half of Canada’s small businesses have already seen a drop in sales due to the economic effects of COVID-19.

The survey conducted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business also says four in 10 of those affected businesses are also reporting a drop of more than 25 per cent.

The results were based on an online survey which included 8,730 responses from small business across the country between March 13 and March 16.

The CFIB survey found the sectors most negatively affected were hospitality, arts and recreation, retail and personal services.

It says 43 per cent have reduced hours for staff and 20 per cent have started temporary layoffs.

Thirty-eight per cent say they have experienced supply chain issues.

CFIB president Dan Kelly says the early economic impacts of the novel coronavirus on Canada small and medium-sized businesses has been massive.

“Even more alarming is our finding that a full quarter of small firms would not be able to survive for more than a month with a drop in business income of more than 50 per cent,” Kelly said in a statement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 17, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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