A new survey from CFIB found that a mid-range estimate shows 21,000 small businesses at risk of closing in B.C. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)

21,000 small businesses in B.C. at risk of closure due to COVID-19: survey

Sectors like hospitality hardest hit, while others like agriculture and construction remain more stable.

A survey done by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) found that more than 21,000 small businesses in B.C. are at risk of closing.

These numbers don’t include businesses that have already closed due to COVID-19.

The CFIB has set up a website that tracks small businesses’ recovery throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. According to their data, in B.C. only 64 per cent of small businesses are fully open, only 32 per cent of fully staffed, and just 27 per cent are recording normal sales.

The survey, completed by over 5,000 CFIB members, also showed that one in seven small businesses in Canada are at risk of going under. That’s 14 per cent of all small and medium businesses.

“Small businesses are big players in our economy, so minimizing business losses is critical to recovery,” said Laura Jones, executive vice-president at CFIB.

“Right now both government support and consumer behaviour are critical to transitioning back to conditions that allow businesses to survive and thrive.”

CFIB estimates that business closures in B.C. due to COVID-19 will range from the low end of 6,395 (4 per cent), to the high-end estimate of 28,920 (16 per cent). A medium range for this estimate is shows that over 21,116 (12 per cent) are at risk.

While CFIB said that they haven’t analyzed the breakdown between rural and urban small businesses, they say that business sectors have been a bigger factor in how well a business is currently doing.

“In sectors like hospitality, those regions will be harder hit, compared to sectors like agriculture and construction,” said Jones. “That’s been a bigger factor than geography.”

Jones and the CFIB know that business closures are inevitable. Their hope and goal is that government can help bring those closures to the lower range of the CFIB’s estimates.

READ ALSO: A restaurant check-in for B.C.’s next phase of restart

Jones added that while some government support has been useful to businesses, there’s a key section of their recovery plan being left out – rent.

“One in three businesses are saying that rent support is missing,” said Jones.

While government support will be key in recovery for small and medium-sized businesses, consumers will play a large role in helping keep these establishments open.

“There’s been a lot of shopping that’s shifted to larger businesses like Walmart and Amazon,” said Jones. “We’d really like for that to shift back and for consumers to support their local small businesses.”

The methodology for the study shows a margin of error of plus or minus 1.3 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusSmall Business

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lesley Chaisson, Manager, Vanderhoof Chamber of Commerce. (Submitted photo)
“We Are Open Campaign”: Vanderhoof Chamber promoting local businesses

Chamber embarks on multi-faceted approach to promote small business

Integris/Facebook.
Integris Credit Union is your financial cooperative

As a part of small business week, the Express is featuring local Vanderhoof businesses

(Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Vanderhoof Department Store: 28 years of exceptional and personal retail experience

As a part of small business week, the Express is featuring local Vanderhoof businesses

Scott Stevens, left, with Robert Askeland at Rich’s Saw Sales. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Rich’s Saw Sales: Multi-faceted store specializing in light industrial, home and garden

As a part of small business week, the Express is featuring local Vanderhoof businesses

Vancouver police reactivated the search for Jordan Naterer Thursday Oct. 22. Photo courtesy of VPD.
Mom of missing Manning Park hiker believes her son is waiting to come home

‘He’s going to come out of a helicopter and say ‘what took you so long?”

Environment Minister George Heyman, Premier John Horgan and Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announce that B.C. Hydro is proceeding with construction of the Site C dam, Dec. 11, 2017. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Site C actions, costs won’t be known until after B.C. election, Horgan says

Peace River diverted for construction of reinforced dam base

One of the squirrels who ended up having their tails amputated after getting them stuck together with tree sap. (Facebook/Wild ARC)
Squirrels recovering from tail amputation after sap situation near Victoria

BC SPCA Wild ARC says squirrels will be released back into wild, fifth sibling was euthanized

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

More and more electric cars are on the road, but one Chevy Bolt owner was shocked to see how much his BC Hydro bill skyrocketed once he started charging the vehicle. (Black Press file photo)
Lower Mainland man sees significant spike in BC Hydro bill after buying electrical vehicle

An increase should be expected, but Brian Chwiendacz experienced a 200-plus per cent hike

The Anonymous YVR is an Instagram page that reviews restaurants and other establishments around B.C. based on how well they adhere to COVID-19 rules. (Instagram)
Anonymous Instagram page reviews COVID-19 safety measures at B.C. businesses

There are a number of public health orders various types of establishments must follow to slow virus’s spread

Most Read