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)

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

Victoria police are asking for help locating Izabel Villeneuve, 14, who was last seen Jan. 19. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police seek help locating missing 14-year-old

Izabel Villeneuve was last seen in the morning of Jan. 19

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

Jan. 21 marks the 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century, according to some. (Black Press Media file photo)
The 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century is upon us – maybe

Milestone won’t be back for another 100 years

Environment Canada is forecasting snow for the east Vancouver Island region the weekend of Jan. 23. (Black Press file)
Up to 15 cm of snow forecast for Vancouver Island this weekend

Snow on Malahat to begin Saturday night, according to Environment Canada

The cost of potentially counting deer regionwide was among the issues that prompted Capital Regional District committee members to vote against pursuing a greater CRD role in deer management. (Black Press Media file photo)
Expanded deer management a non-starter for Greater Victoria

Capital Regional District committee maintains current level of support

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Aquaculture employee from Vancouver Island, Michelle, poses with a comment that she received on social media. Facebook group Women in Canadian Salmon Farming started an online campaign #enoughisenough to highlight the harassment they were facing online after debates about Discovery Islands fish farms intensified on social media. (Submitted photo)
Female aquaculture employees report online bullying, say divisive debate has turned sexist

Vancouver Island’s female aquaculture employees start #enoughisenough to address misogynistic comments aimed at them

Most Read