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

Telus representative Doug Anastos (top left) and SitePath Consulting Ltd.’s consultant Brian Gregg (top right) present to the SRD board, including CAO David Leitch (bottom left) and Cortes Island director Noba Anderson, on Jan. 13, 2021. Photo courtesy SRD/Youtube
Improved wireless connection for Quadra, Cortes pitched to SRD

Idea includes new towers at various locations on islands

Eva Xu (left) and Joanne Moon (right) presents Campbell River Hospital Foundation executive director Stacey Marsh (centre) with a $1,476 cheque to go towards the new mammography machine at the hospital. Photo supplied by Campbell River Hospital Foundation.
Gourmet Essentials donates nearly $1,500 to Hospital Foundation

Machine will cut wait times for mammogram results

Robbie Burns Day will be celebrated a little differently this year, but celebrated it will be as the Tidemark Theatre presents a live virtual celebration that will be available for ticketholders to view for three days. Black Press File Photo
Tidemark Theatre presents Burns Night 2021: The Bard & His Ballads

A tale of whisky and haggis, and of how Robbie Burns would emerge as a champion for the common man

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy, Everett Bumstead.
The tree planting life on Vancouver Island features in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

Bill Reekie and his then-four-year-old granddaughter Lily. Photo contributed
Alzheimer’s – the Unplanned Journey

By Jocelyn Reekie Special to the Mirror “January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month… Continue reading

B.C. Representative for Children and Youth Jennifer Charlesworth (Black Press files)
B.C. watchdog says mentally ill children and youth retraumatized in hospital

The number of children held under the Mental Health Act has increased an alarming 162 per cent in past decade

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A new video from NCCIH and BC Northern Health titled ‘Healing in Pandemic Times: Indigenous Peoples, Stigma and COVID-19’ was animated by Joanne Gervais. (Photo Provided By: NCCIH Archives)
VIDEO: Stigma against Indigenous people is a ‘social sickness’

A new short animated video is aiming to educate the public on the stigmatization

Nanaimo RCMP are investigating after a threat was made at Woodgrove Centre on Tuesday, Jan. 19. (News Bulletin file photo)
Threat directed at Nanaimo mall, RCMP investigating

Police have searched areas of Woodgrove Centre accessible to shoppers and have deemed it safe

A pinniped was attacked by an unseen predator off the shores of Dallas Road Monday night. (Courtesy of Steffani Cameron)
VIDEO: Seal hunting, not being hunted in video shot off Victoria waterfront

Victoria woman captures footage of pinniped activity off Dallas Road

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau vows to keep up the fight to sway U.S. on merits of Keystone XL pipeline

Canada’s pitch to the Biden team has framed Keystone XL as a more environmentally friendly project than original

The British Columbia Hotel Association (BCHA) sent out a sharply worded release late last week, in which it noted that the Tourism Industry Association of BC recently obtained a ‘legal opinion’ on the matter (Alex Passini photo)
Hotel associations push back against any potential ban on inter-provincial, non-essential travel restrictions

B.C. Premier John Horgan is seeking legal advice on banning non-essential travel

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
COVID rapid tests in long-term care key during vaccine rollout: B.C. care providers

‘Getting kits into the hands of care providers should be a top priority,’ says former Health Minister

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. turns to second doses of COVID-19 vaccine as supplies slow

Pfizer shipments down until February, to be made up in March

Most Read