Canada Could Lose An Additional 158,000 Small Businesses To COVID-19

Business closures due to COVID-19 (CNW Group/Canadian Federation of Independent Business)

One in seven small businesses 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.

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.


  1. Sad. I see help wanted adds up all over. Can’t get people to work, cause our government gives students money to stay at home and play games or party and spread the virus. Yes there are some out there working but. We give international students big checks as well, mean while our business side of it is crashing. Trudeau will get his votes from the younger generation but next spring when they find out all this income is taxable, lol, we will hear the wining from them. Safe day to all first responders and those making it work out there. God Bless


Please enter your comment!

Please enter your name here