Alberta among provinces leading the way in reopening businesses, but two thirds remain closed

by Morinville News Staff

The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB) says the lifting of provincial restrictions is seeing 50 per cent more small businesses now fully open with Alberta, Manitoba and New Brunswick leading the way.

That information comes from a recent CFIB survey of its members. That survey shows just under a third of businesses are now fully open, an increase of 21 per cent a month ago.

Alberta (47%), Manitoba and New Brunswick now have the greatest number of small firms fully open, while Nova Scotia, Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador are the least open economies.

“It’s good to see that the share of businesses fully open is finally larger than businesses fully closed due to COVID-19,” said CFIB president Dan Kelly in a media release Thursday.

The business organization found nationally that in addition to government-mandated closures, the top reasons for not fully opening are sales too low to make it worthwhile (36 per cent) and concerns over the health and safety of staff and customers (35 per cent).

Of those surveyed, 26 per cent of small firms are concerned they may be forced to close their doors permanently, and 36 per cent are worried about accessing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

“While it is good news that more firms are beginning to open across the country, it is important to keep in mind that 67 per cent of businesses remain fully or partially closed due to COVID-19,” Kelly said. “In addition, there is a lot of uncertainty for businesses in the months to come, including how to recall laid-off workers, what new measures they should put in place to protect their staff and customers, and if reopening will even be financially possible if their sales are too low.”

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