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New polling data: Albertans feel safer shopping at small businesses over big box stores

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88% of Albertans support continuing to allow small retailers to serve a limited number of people
 

Calgary, December 8, 2020 – Nearly nine in 10 Albertans say the Alberta government should allow small, local retailers to remain open with a limited number of customers, according to new public opinion research conducted by Maru/Matchbox on behalf of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). CFIB urges the Alberta government continue to keep small business retailers open for in-store shopping at the current 25% capacity limit and recommends all provinces avoid blanket-style retail lockdowns at this critical season.

“The Alberta governments needs to carefully consider the impacts future public health decisions will have on our province’s small businesses,” said Annie Dormuth, Alberta provincial affairs director. “Alberta small businesses are in a very vulnerable position with 40 per reporting they will not be able to survive if locked down a second time. The strong majority of Albertans, not just business owners, agree small businesses retailers are safe to shop at, and should be allowed to remain open at a reduced capacity.” 

Nearly three quarters of Albertans said they feel safer shopping at a small local business with reduced capacity than at a big box store such as Costco or Wal-Mart.

 

CAN

BC

AB

SK

MB

ON

QC

ATL

Closing in-store shopping at small retailers, while allowing 'big box' stores to remain open for in-store shopping is unfair

87%

94%

88%

85%

87%

88%

82%

88%

If small retailers are required to be closed for in-store shopping, 'big box' stores should not be allowed to sell similar items either

78%

73%

77%

73%

85%

76%

82%

81%

The government should allow small, local retailers to remain open with a limited number of customers in the store at a time

93%

96%

88%

91%

86%

93%

95%

95%

I feel safer shopping at a small local business with reduced capacity, than at a busy 'big box' store such as Costco/Wal-Mart

72%

69%

68%

79%

70%

72%

76%

76%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition, 88 per cent of Albertans agree closing small retailers to in-store sales while allowing big box stores to remain open is unfair.

CFIB has recommended the Alberta government consider the following principles when deciding on any future or additional restrictions and closures on small businesses: 

  • Provide public health data to justify reasoning for business restrictions and closures 
  • Ensure fairness amongst all businesses 
  • Allow in-person sales and operations 
  • Consult with businesses prior to additional restrictions or lockdown measures 
  • Fully compensate small businesses when restrictions are imposed
     

“It makes no sense at all to close small businesses that are deemed non-essential to in-store shopping while pushing crowds to big box stores who are permitted to sell the same merchandise, like Ontario has done in Toronto and Peel,” said Dan Kelly, President at CFIB. “If reducing time spent indoors in crowds is the objective, consumers understand that shopping in neighbourhood small businesses is a better choice.” 

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Annie Dormuth 
Alberta provincial affairs director 
403 700-1945
[email protected] 

Source: Maru/Matchbox COVID-19 online tracking survey among 1,510 Canadian adults aged 18+ on December 4, 2020. Margin of error of +/- 2.5%, nineteen times out of twenty. www.marureports.com/coronavirus

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.