Small business owners cautiously optimistic

By The IJ Staff | October 07 2020 12:08PM

Photo: Freepik

Two-thirds of Canada’s small businesses surveyed said they are in a worse situation now, compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic, found the Scotiabank New Path to Impact Report released Oct. 7.

But despite this, the report revealed 40% of small business owners are “very” or “extremely” optimistic about the future of their business.

The report indicated that most businesses are showing resiliency with 69% saying their business is better equipped to survive a second wave of the pandemic, says the report.

"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, 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."

The Scotiabank report found that three in ten small businesses anticipate continued financial difficulties in the short term including reduced revenue, less work, reduced consumer spending, and slow overall growth.

However, 63% of small business owners say they do not foresee the need for additional financing to continue their operation, with smaller firms being less likely to require more financing.

Scotiabank adds that while its survey found that most industries state they're better equipped to survive a second wave of the pandemic, this sentiment is lower in the construction industry, where 55% of business owners are prepared versus 69% on average (all industries).

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