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Small businesses have taken on $117B in new debt due to coronavirus pandemic: CFIB

Click to play video 'Early findings of CFIB survey point to long, slow recovery for small businesses' Early findings of CFIB survey point to long, slow recovery for small businesses
We chat with Jordi Morgan, Vice President Atlantic with CFIB to tell us more about the #SmallBusinessEveryday campaign. We also find out about a list of measures small businesses need to recover from the pandemic in advance of Wednesday’s federal fiscal update.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business estimates that a total of $117 billion of new debt has been loaded onto small businesses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The national association based its estimates on an online survey of small business owners from June 26 to July 2.

Read more: Business advocates ask Alberta government to supply non-AHS doctors with PPE, according to CFIB survey

About 2,100 of the survey’s 4,502 respondents agreed to reveal how much debt they’d incurred due to COVID-19.

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On average, the small businesses that provided information for the CFIB survey had $135,000 in debt for a total of nearly $285.4 million.

The CFIB estimates that would result in $117 billion of total COVID-related debt for small business as a whole, based on Statistics Canada’s count of small and medium-sized enterprises in Canada.

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The 110,000-member association also estimates that 58 per cent of small businesses have re-opened fully, 35 per cent are back to full staffing but only 24 per cent are back to normal revenue.

According to the polling industry’s generally accepted standards, online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.