As many as 225,000 businesses nationwide could soon shut down because of the resurgence of COVID-19 infections, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. The estimate was significantly higher than the CFIB’s previous projection of 160,000 pandemic-triggered closures, BNN Bloomberg reported.
“We are already seeing half of businesses in Canada – even those who are not affected by further rounds of shutdowns – saying that their sales dropped as a result of the second wave,” said Dan Kelly, president and CEO of CFIB. “These businesses are already weakened.”
The CFIB’s statements came in the wake of the Toronto municipal government’s decision to extend the prohibition on indoor dining for 28 more days due to rising numbers of COVID-19 infections across the GTA, a step that was strongly criticized by various industry groups.
Andrew Oliver, chief executive of the Oliver & Bonacini restaurant group, slammed the prohibition as something that steps “on the restaurants’ throats.”
The CFIB called on governments to keep any lockdowns as short as circumstances will permit.
“Governments are still fumbling around to put [financial assistance] programs in place, eight months in,” Kelly said. “Our advice to provincial governments is: ‘Please don’t put in place blanket shutdowns of the entire economy. If there are cases where you need to do that, make it surgical for those sectors or business activities where the problems are coming from – and lift them soon as is possible.’”