CFIB Statement on Ontario reintroducing capacity limits

Toronto, December 17, 2021 –Once again, the Ontario government is significantly restricting businesses with little notice and no immediate financial supports. Many of the businesses restricted today have lost over a year’s worth of business to government closures. To be limited again during one of the most important times of the year is a bitter pill to swallow. Today’s measures will do nothing to allay the fears that have kept many consumers home, while businesses remain open.

Only 35 per cent of Ontario’s small businesses are at normal revenues for this time of year and their average COVID-19-related debt is a whopping $190,000. An alarming 34 per cent of Ontario’s small businesses report they are losing money every day they are open. 

All provincial support programs for businesses have ended, and the most significant one stopped on April 7, a day before the third lockdown began. Yesterday, the federal government’s Bill C-2 eliminated access to wage and rent support for about 80 per cent of small business owners who still need it.

Restrictions of any kind at this time of year – especially for retailers who rely on the holiday season for revenues – could be the tipping point for many small businesses that can’t be expected to survive two consecutive years of poor holiday sales.

The Nova Scotia government has already announced fresh supports for small businesses despite far lighter restrictions in many settings. While the Premier hinted that support may be coming, CFIB calls on the government to reconsider these measures and immediately reintroduce grant support for all affected businesses.

- Dan Kelly, President, Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)
- Ryan Mallough, Senior Director of Provincial Affairs, Ontario
- Julie Kwiecinski, Director of Provincial Affairs, Ontario

For media inquiries or interviews, please contact:
Milena Stanoeva, CFIB

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 95,000 members across every industry and region, including 38,000 in Ontario. 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