Small business confidence plunges

By The IJ Staff | March 25 2020 02:19PM

Photo: Freepik

Small business confidence has plunged to a new historic low due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, says the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)'s latest Business Barometer.

The Barometer, released March 25, indicates that the confidence of small businesses in Canada has fallen to 30.8 from February's level of 60.5.

"March 2020 has turned out to be a month like no other in Canada's economic history," said Ted Mallett, CFIB's vice-president and chief economist. "Small business sentiment has never been this low in the Business Barometer's 32-year history, including during the 2008 and 1990 recessions."

Planning layoffs

Asked if their business is in a good state, only one in five owners agreed, compared to 38 per cent who said their business is doing poorly. The survey also showed that just 5 per cent of business owners plan to add on full-time staff in the next three months and 50 per cent are planning layoffs.

"We are urging governments to provide more relief for small businesses to make sure that we can restore optimism after the crisis is over," said Mallett.

Industry results

CFIB’s barometer indicated that businesses in financial services experienced the biggest drop in confidence, losing 35.4 index points over last month.

Mid-March 2020 findings are based on 1,378 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received on March 17 and 18.

To learn more, consult the March Business Barometer

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