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Businesses in Canadian cities struggling more than rural areas amid coronavirus: CFIB

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A new survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business suggests that businesses in Canada’s city centres are struggling more than their rural counterparts amid the coronavirus pandemic.

CFIB data released on Wednesday indicates that 22 per cent of businesses polled in urban cores are at normal levels of sales compared to 37 per cent in rural areas.

Read more: 1 in 10 Canadian businesses may never recover from coronavirus, industry group says

CFIB executive vice president Laura Jones says that empty downtown offices and non-existent international tourism might be to blame.

Overall, 66 per cent of survey respondents say their business is fully open, while 40 per cent are fully staffed and 28 per cent are making normal sales.

CFIB represents about 110,000 small- and medium-sized businesses, and 5,119 members responded to the online survey, which ran from Aug. 13 to Aug. 18.

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The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.

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