Alberta small business hit by fewer customers, lower sales

by Stephen Dafoe

With the Canadian Federation of Independent Business noting fewer customers and reduced spending at their member’s businesses, they continue to push their #SmallBusinessEveryDay campaign to encourage Canadians to practice local shopping.

The business group’s latest survey shows a drop in traffic and per customer transactions is holding back the economic recovery of Alberta small business. As of Thursday, only 23 per cent of surveyed members say sales are back to pre-COVID-19 levels despite 67 per cent of Alberta businesses being fully opened and 39 per cent being fully staffed.

“We’re hoping that as people get back to fall routines businesses will get a much-needed revenue boost. Consumers are critical to small businesses and their financial and emotional support means more now than ever,” said CFIB Executive Vice-President Laura Jones. Online sales, interrupted supply chains and shipping affected 23 per cent of members. Staff availability affected just over one in 10 businesses.

CFIB says it will ramp up its #SmallBusinessEveryDay campaign this fall, offering weekly challenges on the road to Small Business Saturday in October.

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Over the Labour Day weekend, they are encouraging people to use the #CanadaUnited hashtag to promote their favourite business on Twitter or like or share the Canada United video online. For each like, share or hashtag use RBC will contribute 5 cents to a fund that will grant businesses up to $5,000 to help with recovery.

“This week’s challenge to help small business doesn’t cost anything but time. Extra credit is always an option and with so many restaurants at risk of permanent closure, we are suggesting an extra effort on the long weekend to indulge in some restaurant therapy,” Jones said.

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