Small business owners face burnout, as holiday shopping season starts off weak

#SmallBusinessEveryDay Advent Calendar brings daily suggestions to support local

Toronto, December 2, 2020 – Small business owners are feeling the pandemic burnout, with close to half reporting they have suffered from mental health issues as a result of COVID-19, and 43 per cent saying they have worked significantly more hours, according to the latest survey results by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

“Many Canadians are struggling with stress right now, and small business owners are no exception. Many of them rely on this time of year to stay afloat, but most are nowhere near their usual sales levels at a really critical time for their survival,” said Laura Jones, CFIB’s executive vice-president.

Unfortunately, the start of the holiday shopping season has been weak for small businesses. The latest results on CFIB’s Small Business Recovery Dashboard show that:

  • 62 per cent are fully open (compared to 66 per cent last month)
  • 41 per cent are fully staffed (compared to 42 per cent last month)
  • Only 29 per cent are making normal sales (compared to 28 per cent last month)

There is still time to save the holiday season for small businesses
CFIB is urging consumers to choose to shop small whenever they can this holiday season. Every day and action counts, so CFIB is launching a Small Business Advent Calendar for December as part of its #SmallBusinessEveryDay campaign to encourage local shopping. Consumers can find daily ideas for supporting small businesses at

“Many of us across the country may not be able to celebrate the holidays with our families. We need a sense of community and a way to stay connected with one more than ever, and supporting local businesses is a great way to do that,” added Jones. “By giving the gift of local, you not only find something truly special for your loved ones, whether it’s in-store, online or curbside, but also make a difference in the life of all business owners and their employees who are working incredibly hard to keep our communities lively.”

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

Source for CFIB data
Preliminary results for COVID-19 recovery survey – November 2020, online survey started November 20, 2020, n = 4,577. For comparison purposes, a probability sample with the same number of respondents would have a margin of error of +/-1.4%, 19 times out of 20.

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. Learn more at

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