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CFIB News Release: Social distancing, customer safety and access to PPE top list of practical small business concerns as provinces reopen

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  • CFIB News Release: Social distancing, customer safety and access to PPE top list of practical small business concerns as provinces reopen

Regina, May 8, 2020 – Saskatchewan small business owners say that managing social distancing (58 per cent), making customers feel comfortable (55 per cent), knowing what the rules are (53 per cent), keeping up with cleaning (52 per cent) and access to PPE (38 per cent) are their top concerns as the government starts to lift restrictions and reopen the economy, finds a new survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

“Making more sales safely is mission critical for businesses who are trying to survive, so turning the corner on shutdowns is welcome news. It also brings practical challenges like figuring out how to make social distancing work, finding enough hand sanitizer and talking to employees about coming back to work,” said Laura Jones, executive vice-president at CFIB.

Nationally, other survey results include:

  • Three-quarters say it is critical to make more sales soon to survive and be less reliant on government subsidies
  • Half of business owners say they will need to make at least 75 per cent of their typical sales to make it worthwhile for their business to stay open through the summer
  • More than three quarters of business owners would prefer that governments create general guidelines rather than prescriptive rules for how businesses should operate when they reopen

“Earlier this week, the Saskatchewan government started its phased approach to restoring services safely with some businesses being able to reopen on May 4th,” said Marilyn Braun-Pollon, CFIB’s vice-president, Western Canada & Agri-business. “We appreciate the ongoing dialogue with the provincial government which is focused on safety and practical guidelines for business owners to help keep their staff and customers safe. We’re committed to continue working closely with the government to successfully and safely reopen Saskatchewan in the days and weeks ahead.”

CFIB has a number of resources available for businesses to help transition to a new normal, including:

  • A “We’re Open” sign with information for customers and keep everyone safe that can be customized and links to provincial guidelines at cfib.ca/COVID19
  • A new “PPEs for SMEs” Facebook group where business owners who need PPEs can find other business owners who are selling it
  • One-on-one help from CFIB’s Business Helpline to help with HR and other issues, temporarily available free of charge to any small business owner in the country who needs it at cfib.ca/introductoryoffer

“The PPEs for SMEs idea came from a business owner on one of our webinars who couldn’t find masks. Another business owner said she could help because her dog apparel company was making them,” said Jones. “Governments, consumers and associations all have a critical role to play in helping small business owners with a successful, safe reopening of the economy.”

To arrange an interview with Marilyn Braun-Pollon, CFIB’s vice-president, Western Canada & Agri-business, please call 306-539-6302 or email [email protected]. You may follow CFIB Saskatchewan on Twitter @cfibsk.

For media enquiries or interviews with Laura Jones, CFIB’s executive vice-president, please contact Milena Stanoeva, Media Relations Specialist, at 647-464-2814 or email [email protected].

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members (5,250 in Saskatchewan) across every industry and region. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at cfib.ca.