With COVID emergency orders having resulted in the shut down of many small businesses this summer, and clientele reduced even when open, many business owners are feeling the pressure.
A survey in the last week of August by Canada’s Business Development bank found a significant amount of worry among owners.
While on one hand two thirds (64%) of the 500 respondents said they are adjusting to the COVID reality, one third (29%) said it was a day to day issue. On the other hand, the survey found that two in five business owners report feeling depressed at least once a week (39%) and two-thirds feel tired or have low energy (64%). Some seven per cent said they felt overwhelmed most of the time.
The top concerns were the economic recession and cash flow to keep the business going.
As the numbers of COVID cases are rising, there are growing demands by health officials to shut down the economy again.
Quoted by CTV on Wednesday, Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Dan Kelly said of a potential new lockdown, “The impact on these firms of having to remain closed for an extended period of time is, for many, going to be fatal,”
A study of CFIB members in mid summer showed that about 158,000 small and medium-sized business were teetering on the edge of closing. With new measures being imposed in some cities and provinces, that number could rise Kelly said.
Another concern is that federal government emergency bridging money to those who’ve lost jobs and which is designed to encourage spending to keep businesses going, is not nearly as effective as desired.
As people are shying away from in-person shopping, and as many services and shops are closed, more of that money is being spent online to suppliers outside the country which is of almost no benefit to the Canadian economy and business. While the service and hospitality sectors suffer greatly from greatly reduced sales, most consumer goods are manufactured abroad and so even when purchasing online from a Canadian firm money is still flowing out of Canada to the foreign manufacturers.
As worries grow among small and medium business owners, the BDC study concludes that those in need should not hesitate to talk to others and reach out to health services.