Small business recovery extends to summer 2023, longer for hard hit sectors, CFIB says

by Stephen Dafoe

The latest research from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) indicates more than 80 per cent of Canadian small businesses have not fully recovered from the economic effects of the pandemic. That percentage jumps more than another 10 points for the hardest-hit sectors of business with arts and recreation at 95 per cent and hospitality at 96 per cent.

CFIB says Alberta small businesses they have communicated with in a recent survey on business recovery say it will take them an average of 25 months to get back to normal.

“While we are starting to put the worst of the COVID storm behind us, for small businesses clean-up and recovery is its own daunting task,” said CFIB Executive Vice President Laura Jones.

The top answers in the recent survey on what does recovery mean to you are as follows:

  • Being back to pre-pandemic sales (52 per cent)
  • No longer experiencing pandemic related delays in supplies and shipping (49 per cent)
  • No longer experiencing high stress and anxiety levels due to COVID-19 (45 per cent)
  • Having paid off any debt incurred due to COVID-19 (42 per cent)
  • Being allowed to be fully open without restrictions (34 per cent)
  • Being back to pre-pandemic staffing (28 per cent)
  • No longer worrying about having to close their business permanently (26 per cent)
  • Having established a set of “new normal” practices for employees and customers (19 per cent)

Simon Gaudreault, CFIB’s Vice-President of National Research, says recovery means much more than getting back to normal sales and staffing – it’s also about paying down debt and processing the shock to collective systems.

“Things are starting to look much more normal on the surface but there is still a long road ahead for many business owners who remain stressed out about the future,” Gaudreault said

The business lobby group encourages consumers to support local businesses through its #SmallBusinessEveryDay campaign.

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