According to a new study, more than 200,000 Canadian businesses could be permanently shut down during the COVID-19 crisis, leaving millions out of jobs, as viral outbreaks reoccur across the country.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business said Thursday one in six, or about 181,000, Canadian small business owners are now seriously contemplating shutting down.
The latest figures, based on a survey of its members done between Jan. 12 and 16, come on top of 58,000 businesses that became inactive in 2020.
Based on the organization’s updated forecast, more than 2.4 million people could be out of work — a staggering 20 per cent of private sector jobs.
“The beginning of 2021 feels more like the fifth quarter of 2020 than a new year,” said Laura Jones, executive vice-president of the CFIB, in a statement.
She called on governments to help small businesses “replace subsidies with sales” by introducing safe pathways to reopen to businesses.
“There’s a lot at stake now from jobs, to tax revenue to support for local soccer teams,” Jones said. “Let’s make 2021 the year we help small business survive and then get back to thriving.”
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