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Most small businesses in health sector worried about their financial wellbeing

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Concern about accessing PPE more than double compared to other sectors

Toronto/Calgary, July 2, 2020 – Private-sector health professionals, (e.g. dentists, optometrists, naturopaths) are anxious, uncertain, and deeply concerned about the future of their firms, according to new research from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

“Small businesses in the health services sector are struggling with the costs to follow hospital grade operational guidelines without the supports available to the public health system,” said Jordi Morgan, CFIB vice-president, Atlantic. “Most worrisome is the number of business owners concerned about costs and accessing PPE is notably higher than the rate for other sectors. Governments need to ensure these businesses have the supports they need to survive and continue providing necessary health treatments to patients and clients.”

CFIB surveyed businesses in the health sector and found:

  • 88 per cent are concerned personal protective equipment (PPE) will become a significant expense for their business while almost half (49 per cent) are worried about accessing PPE
  • 75 per cent are worried the “new normal” is not financially viable for their business, while a further 16 per cent are considering bankruptcy
  • 54 per cent of private-sector health professionals say the “new normal” will result in higher prices for their patients because of reduced capacity and additional requirements
  • Only 35 per cent are fully open, while half remain partially closed.

“It’s clear from the survey results, health care small business owners care deeply about their patients and are worried their patients’ health has worsened during the shutdown,” added Annie Dormuth, Alberta provincial affairs director. “They also want to ensure their patients receive important treatment in a safe and comfortable environment. That is why so many of these business owners are concerned about accessing PPE. They need PPE to keep their patients and staff safe and their doors open.”

To ensure these small businesses survive and people have access to critical health services CFIB is calling on governments to:

  1. Allow access to PPE through provincial government supply chains to ensure supply.
  2. Not increase taxes, especially on payroll.
  3. Extend the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program to September and significantly lower the revenue reduction requirement.
  4. Expand the CEBA loan to $60,000 and increase the forgivable portion to fifty per cent.
  5. Release the revised eligibility rules for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy for July and August. Provide access to more firms through a lower and graduated revenue reduction test.

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact: Milena Stanoeva, CFIB at 647-464-2814 or [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 across every industry and region, including 10,000 in Alberta. 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.