Canadian small business owners cautiously optimistic about the future, Scotiabank report says
Forty per cent of small business owners are either "very" or "extremely" optimistic about the future of their business, Scotiabank said.
Canadian small business owners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic remain cautiously optimistic about their future, according to Scotiabank’s recent New Path to Impact Report.
Two-thirds of businesses report being in a worse situation now, compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the strong headwinds businesses are facing during the pandemic, the report revealed that 40% of small business owners are “very” or “extremely” optimistic about the future of their business.
The report uncovered that most businesses are feeling more prepared, with 69% stating their business is better equipped to survive a second wave of the pandemic.
“The resiliency of Canadian business owners throughout the pandemic has been commendable,” said Jason Charlebois, senior vice-president, Small Business, Scotiabank, in a prepared statement. “While we cannot predict how the next six months will unfold, now is the time to start focusing on the future, with cautious optimism. Charting a new path forward has to start with a plan, so seek advice early, use the resources available, and be ready to pivot — it’s the greatest chance of survival in a post-pandemic world.”
The Scotiabank New Path to Impact Report also found that the number one priority for small business owners is to increase sales through additional channels over the next three months.
Additionally, the report noted that:
- Three out of 10 small businesses anticipate continued financial difficulties in the short term including reduced revenue, less work, reduced consumer spending, and slow overall growth.
- Sixty-three per cent of small business owners say they do not foresee the need for additional financing to continue their operation, with smaller firms being less likely to require more financing.
- Majority of small businesses (60%) experienced decreased sales and revenue since the pandemic first began, with two-thirds having taken advantage of relief programs to help sustain their business.
- Most industries state they’re better equipped to survive a second wave of the pandemic — however, this sentiment is lower in the Construction industry, where 55% of business owners are prepared versus 69% on average (all industries).
- Among those businesses that sought relief programs, 37% say they accessed the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), while 16% requested a deferral of loan payments.