Toronto, December 17, 2021 – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) urges governments to exercise caution and avoid sparking panic as they consider a further round of business restrictions in the face of the new Omicron variant.
Small businesses are at a breaking point: only 36 per cent report they are back to normal sales and short-term confidence remains low. Of those not making normal sales, 22 per cent say they can survive for fewer than six months at their current level of revenue loss. Even without new business restrictions or lockdowns, many businesses are actively losing customers due to the alarming messaging coming from federal and provincial officials about Omicron.
Restrictions should be a last resort, science-based and only considered if accompanied with an immediate new round of emergency business supports from both provincial and federal governments. Unfortunately, almost all provincial support programs have been closed for months and the federal government is about to pass Bill C-2, which will eliminate access to wage and rent support for about 80 per cent of small business owners who still need it.
CFIB urges governments to do everything they can to keep small businesses open in the critical weeks ahead. Small firms have paid a deep price for COVID restrictions and cannot bear another round of lockdowns or capacity restrictions.
– Dan Kelly, President, Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)