Other occupational health indicators also declined with nearly a quarter (24%) of business owners expecting a reduction of their full-time workforce in the next three months, while only 16% planned to hire. Also, three out of 10 (31%) admitted that their business is in very bad shape, although 29% say their business is in good shape.
This is in contrast to December, when only 19% reported that their business was in bad shape and 39% said they were in good business.
“We are seeing echoes of the first months of the pandemic, when business owners didn’t know exactly when they would be able to reopen and were facing tough choices, such as laying off employees or cutting their losses. Doing and closing for good said Andrea Bourgeois, director of economics at the CFIB.
“Sadly, the COVID restrictions/lockdown and consumer panic have eroded business confidence,” said CFIB President Dan Kelly. “The CFIB is calling on the provinces to announce an early end to COVID restrictions and for all governments to return to the same level of support as it was at the beginning of the pandemic.”
To mitigate the impact, the CFIB suggests renewing wage and rent subsidies for all businesses that have lost revenue on a sliding-scale basis. He also proposed reviving the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan program with an additional $20,000 loan, which would allow small firms to recover, and the introduction of provincial grant programs to cover all businesses suffering from revenue shortfalls. will expand.