WINNIPEG — New research from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has found 83 per cent of Manitobans are concerned their favourite local businesses will close down because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fears are similar on a national level as well, as 82 per cent of Canadians are concerned.
Jonathan Alward, who is the director of the prairie region of CFIB, said the fears that many are sharing are justified.
“We’re far from being recovered. Many small businesses across the province are still recovering,” said Alward. “Just a little a less of three-quarters of small businesses in the province said they are now fully open, but just over a third said they are at normal revenues for this time of year.”
He said it is far from business as usual for many small businesses and even with the support from the provincial and federal government, many are still struggling to make ends meet.
The survey also showed 93 per cent of Manitobans feel supporting small businesses is key to keeping the economy healthy, with 95 per cent saying the same thing on the national level.
Alward said small businesses are incredibly important to the Manitoba economy and the best way to make sure they survive is by supporting them.
“Ideally going out and shopping at these businesses in person. If you don’t feel safe doing so, call or order online for a curbside pickup or delivery,” he said. “It is really, really critical right now that people go out and shop safely.”
He added that the Amazons and Walmarts of the world are not helping build the “cultural fabric” of the community and he hopes Manitobans can help as many of these small businesses get through the pandemic as possible.
Other results from the survey show 62 per cent of Manitobans are concerned the economy is not recovering fast enough, while 67 per cent believe more focus needs to be put on economic recovery.
On a national level, those numbers are 69 per cent and 76 per cent respectively.
The survey was conducted by Maru/Matchbox in partnership with CFIB. The survey was conducted on Aug. 4 and asked 1,511 Canadians over the age of 18.
A probability sample of this size would yield a margin of error of +/- 2.5 per cent, 19 times out 20.
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