Small Business Owners Cautiously Optimistic

Canadian small business owners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic remain cautiously optimistic about their future, says Scotiabank's 'New Path to Impact Report.' Two-thirds of businesses report being in a worse situation now, compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the strong headwinds businesses are facing during the pandemic, the report revealed 40 per cent of small business owners are 'very' or 'extremely' optimistic about the future of their business. While the future effects of COVID-19 are uncertain, the report uncovered that most businesses are feeling more prepared, with 69 per cent stating their business is better equipped to survive a second wave of the pandemic. "The resiliency of Canadian business owners throughout the pandemic has been commendable. Whether they've pivoted to rely more on digital channels, taken advantage of relief programs, or adjusted their business model to serve today's market, they've had to get creative to find ways to survive," says Jason Charlebois, senior vice-president, small business, at Scotiabank. "While we cannot predict how the next six months will unfold, now is the time to start focusing on the future, with cautious optimism. Charting a new path forward has to start with a plan, so seek advice early, use the resources available, and be ready to pivot – it's the greatest chance of survival in a post-pandemic world."