Nearly half of Canadian restaurants are struggling to stay afloat and fear they will not even make it to fall.
According to Alignable’s Small Business Revenue Report, 47 per cent of Canadian SMBs say they are at risk of closing by the fall due to multiple persistent pressures including inflation, labour struggles, and a stretched supply chain.
This figure is a huge leap from the number seen last summer. In the U.S., where the proportion is also 47 per cent, only 35 per cent of businesses said the same last summer.
The risks are particularly concerning for restaurants.
Alignable found that 48 per cent of small to medium-sized restaurants in Canada feel they could be at risk of closure by fall, slightly above the national small business average.
Despite the fact that summer 2022 is less restricted than summer 2021 in terms of COVID-19 restrictions, and many diners have regained confidence in eating out, more than half of the Canadian restaurants surveyed (55 per cent) said they expect to earn less money this summer than last summer.
Only 18 per cent expect to earn more than they did in summer 2021, and at least 30 per cent indicated that that need to earn more than they did last summer just to stay in business in the foreseeable future.
Given these statistics, it’s no wonder that in another recent poll, nearly two in three (63 per cent of) small business owners said inflation has been more damaging to their business than COVID-19 was. The percentage of small businesses saying they felt they were nearly or fully recovered from the pandemic has dropped from 33 per cent in June 2021 to 26 per cent now.
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British Columbia’s SMBs are most at risk with 47 per cent responding that they’re having significant issues keeping their businesses going. Ontario is similar at 46 per cent and finally, the situation is still concerning, but looks comparatively better in Alberta at 38 per cent.
Businesses owned by women (53 per cent) and minorities (52 per cent) also have above-average levels of worry.