With the coronavirus pandemic having a significant impact on local economies, the organization representing independent businesses is pleading with Canadians to shop local today – and as much as possible throughout the holidays.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is urging to participate in Small Business Saturday by shopping at local businesses, whether it is online, curbside, or in-person, where possible on Nov. 28.
Small Business Saturday falls on the day after Black Friday and was created as part of an ongoing effort to encourage Canadians to consider shopping at small local businesses whether online, curbside or in-person where possible.
“With 2020 being the toughest year ever for many businesses emotionally and financially, we are urging people to make every effort to support small business. It’s not always our first instinct to look for small businesses online but many have now worked really hard to make this an option,” said Laura Jones, executive vice-president at CFIB.
Approximately 38 per cent of small or retail businesses in Canada are making “normal sales” and one in seven are at serious risk of closing for good, according to the CFIB’s latest data. Hospitality businesses, the organization notes, are in even worse shape, with only nine per cent reporting normal sales and one in four at risk of permanent closure.
CFIB also suggests that a third of small businesses offer online sales, an increase of roughly 152,000 new entrants into the eCommerce market since March.
“The top eCommerce adopters have been those hit hardest by the pandemic, including retailers, arts and recreation, hospitality, and health services businesses. While one in five businesses say they will increasingly rely on online sales to survive, a quarter of those using eCommerce are struggling to generate revenue that way,” the CFIB said in a press release.
Furthermore, there are plenty of small first-time business owners, particularly on Vancouver Island, competing for customers against American-owned retail giants like Wal-Mart, Costco, and Amazon.
According to the City of Victoria, 575 first time business owners applied for a license from June 1 to Nov. 26, about the same number as last year, while in Saanich, the number of licenses has increased by 400 from the same period last year.
For more information on Small Business Saturday, click here.