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Small business confidence falls to record low amid COVID-19 pandemic, CFIB says

Last Updated Mar 25, 2020 at 8:34 am EDT

The empty shelves of a shut-down food shop are pictured in the Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver, B.C. Tuesday, March 24, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business says small business confidence has fallen to a new low amid the COVID-19 pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

TORONTO — The Canadian Federation of Independent Business says small business confidence has fallen to a new low amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The organization says its latest business barometer has fallen to a record low of 30.8 from a level of 60.5 in February.

It says one in five owners say their business is in a good state, compared with 38 per cent who say it’s doing poorly.

Half of business owners say they are planning layoffs in the next three months, while just five per cent say they will be looking to add full-time staff.

The report comes as non-essential businesses shut down in Ontario and Quebec in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The moves have resulted in the layoff of workers across the country as businesses stop work.

The barometer is based on 1,378 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to an online survey on March 17 and 18.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 25, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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