Small Businesses Lose Confidence

Small business confidence plummeted amid renewed lockdowns and restrictions, says the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’ (CFIB) ‘Business Barometer.’ The three-month index dropped more than 10 points to 34.5, while the 12-month outlook dropped to 52.4, the lowest reading since April 2020. "This may be the most economically dangerous point in the pandemic," says Dan Kelly, president at CFIB. "Businesses are desperately weakened after two years of incredible restrictions and they've taken on an average of $170,000 in debt. Just as they were beginning to recover in the fall, governments have gone back to lockdowns and capacity restrictions without fully returning to the support programs that were in place early in the pandemic.” The CFIB is calling on provinces to announce an end to COVID-19 restrictions, insisting the government reopen the wage and rent subsidy to all businesses experiencing revenue losses on a sliding scale basis, reopen the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan program with an additional $20,000 loan, increase the forgivable portion to 50 per cent, and expand the provincial grant programs and make them available to all businesses experiencing a reduction in revenues.