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

“We have to make a call out to address this now so our people don’t have to feel fearful,” said Tribal Chief Mina Holmes. (Carrier Sekani Tribal Council Facebook photo)
Carrier Sekani Tribal Council seeks Indigenous-led task force in northern B.C. hospitals

Request made in an open letter to federal minister Carolyn Bennett

Ellis Ross (left), BC Liberal party, celebrated with his wife, Tracey after being named the preliminary winner of the 2020 snap provincial election.
Ross presumptive Skeena winner in snap B.C. election

Election outcome will not be official until mail-in ballots are counted

Voting has officially closed throughout B.C. for the 2020 snap provincial election. (Clare Rayment)
Map of Skeena polling stations

Watch the updates on the map below as polling stations are counted throughout Skeena riding

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

Tyrell Giroux was arrested by Williams Lake RCMP on Sunday, Oct. 25. (Facebook video screenshot)
Tsilhqot’in leaders call for suspension of officers seen in controversial Williams Lake arrest

Disturbing video demands an immediate, independent investigation, says TNG

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

A woman walks through check in at WestJet at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Strong support for pre-flight COVID testing ahead of upcoming WestJet trial: YVR

Airport is partnering with UBC, which is helping choose the method of pre-flight testing

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau says pandemic ‘really sucks,’ and that Christmas gatherings are up in the air

The prime minister encouraged residents to continue to follow the advice of local health authorities

The Williams Lake Indian Band is stipulating no-go zones for mushroom picking in areas burned by last summer’s wildfires. 100 Mile Free Press photo
Who controls mushroom harvesting on Indigenous lands?

‘We don’t necessarily know where the mushrooms grow, how old the stands need to be, those types of things.’

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada/USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
U.S. election results one factor that could impact immigration to Canada next year

The survey polled 1,523 Canadians between Oct. 23 and Oct. 25

Most Read