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Nearly 6,500 Saskatchewan small business owners now contemplating pulling the plug, putting over 89,000 jobs at risk

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#SmallBusinessEveryDay dashboard shows only 27% per cent of Saskatchewan small businesses are making normal sales 

Regina, January 21, 2021 – Seventeen per cent (6,483) of Saskatchewan small business owners are seriously contemplating permanently closing their business, putting an estimated 89,551 jobs at risk across the province, estimates the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) in an update to its earlier estimate on business closures this past summer. Nationally, one-in-six (181,000) small business owners are seriously contemplating permanently closing, putting more than 2.4 million jobs at risk (20 per cent of private sector jobs). This latest estimate is on top of the 58,000 businesses that became inactive in 2020. 

“Although there is still time for business owners to reverse course if conditions improve, it is alarming to see an increasing number considering permanent closure, compared to our first estimate last summer. We are not headed in the right direction and each week that passes without improvement on the business front pushes more owners to make that final decision. The more businesses that disappear, the more jobs we will lose and the harder it will be for the economy to recover,” said Simon Gaudreault, Senior Director of National Research at CFIB. 

Nationally, the number of threatened businesses could be as low as 71,000 or as high as 222,000 (between 7 and 21 per cent of all businesses) depending on how the coming months unfold, jeopardizing between 962,000 and 2,951,000 jobs. In Saskatchewan, this range could be as a low as 2,858 or as high as 7,891 businesses (between 8 and 21 per cent of all businesses) and between 40,064 and 109,033 jobs. 

Businesses in the hospitality (restaurants, hotels, caterers) and arts and recreation (gyms, venues, arcades) sectors are most at risk, with roughly one in three businesses in both sectors actively considering closure. Including businesses that have already become inactive in 2020, Canada could lose a total of between one in eight (12 per cent) and one in four (26 per cent) businesses during this pandemic. 

Nationally: Business Closures
2020 Inactive Canadian firms from Statistics Canada 58,000
Pending Closure EstimateLow71,000
 CFIB Forecast181,000 (1 in 6)
 High222,000
Total Small Business Closures due to COVIDLow1 in 8 closed
 CFIB Forecast1 in 5 closed
 High1 in 4 closed

#SmallBusinessEveryDay dashboard update 
The latest national data on CFIB’s Small Business Recovery Dashboard underscore how precarious the situation for small businesses has become:

  • 47 per cent of businesses are fully open (down from 62 per cent at the end of November)
  • 36 per cent are fully staffed (down from 41 per cent at the end of November)
  • 22 per cent are making normal sales (down from 29 per cent at the end of November)

In Saskatchewan, the Small Business Recovery Dashboard now shows:

  • 76 per cent of businesses are fully open (up slightly from 73 per cent at the end of November)
  • 49 per cent are fully staffed (up from 42 per cent at the end of November)
  • 27 per cent are making normal sales (down from 31 per cent at the end of November)

“2021 isn’t off to a great start for Saskatchewan’s small business. After the tough financial and emotional slog to get through a historically difficult year, the beginning of 2021 feels more like the fifth quarter of 2020 than a new year,” said Marilyn Braun-Pollon, CFIB’s vice-president, Western Canada & Agri-business. “It is critical that we do what we can as individuals to limit the spread of COVID-19, while allowing businesses to operate safely at limited capacities. We must also ensure that provincial support programs are renewed for those businesses impacted by ongoing restrictions.”

Read CFIB’s full research snapshot for more details. 

For media enquiries or interviews with Simon Gaudreault, Senior Director of National Research, please contact Milena Stanoeva, Manager of Public Affairs, at 647-464-2814 or email [email protected].

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 at @cfibsk.

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. 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. 

About #SmallBusinessEveryDay
The #SmallBusinessEveryDay campaign encourages local shopping, promotes initiatives to support small business and provides posters and other tools for businesses to use. It is supported by Scotiabank, Chase Merchant Services, eBay Canada, Intuit Canada and Interac Corp. To find out more about being a media sponsor please contact [email protected].