Restrictions could be ‘nail in the coffin’ for many small businesses: CFIB

Lobby groups urge Ford to step up with help for already “decimated” restaurants and gyms

Article content

Monday’s closing of gyms and indoor dining in restaurants is putting more small businesses at risk of collapse, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).


Story continues below

Article content

“Two years later, here we are again locking down businesses and expecting a different result. It is just the worst way to start off the new year,” said Julie Kwiecinski with CFIB.

“I’ve never heard such anxiety, frustration and anger coming from small business members,” she said.

The CFIB wants the government to immediately reintroduce provincial grant support for all businesses affected by Monday’s new measures.

“Business owners are people, too. They have livelihoods and these decisions impact their livelihoods. And for many, this could be the final nail in the coffin.”

CFIB says only 35% of Ontario’s small firms have returned to normal revenues.

It also adds that the average COVID-19 debt for a small business is $190,000.


Story continues below

Article content

Monday’s order banning indoor dining is drawing the ire of the restaurant industry.

This “will irreparably harm our industry,” Restaurants Canada said in a statement.

“The food-service industry continues to bear the brunt of the restrictions and pay the cost of fighting this pandemic, despite having done everything they have been asked.”

The industry group says pandemic data shows restaurants are not the problem, and that owners are “seeing their life’s work destroyed.”

It is hoping the government follows up with a series of measures to help.

What Restaurants Canada is looking for: Grants for restaurants, a deferral of HST payments to allow them to keep money in their hands, rebates for property taxes and utilities, and a re-imposition of commercial eviction ban, which expired Dec. 31.


Story continues below

Article content

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

Once again, gyms have been closed outright.

“We are disappointed that once again our industry is taking a big hit here, by being closed,” said Sarah Hodson of the Fitness industry Council.

“We have been absolutely decimated during this pandemic where we have seen 42% of fitness businesses permanently close their doors.”

  1. File photo of a Canadian flag flying at half-mast on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

    COVID killing off Canada’s small businesses: report

  2. Ontario Premier Doug Ford puts his mask back on after speaking during a press conference at Queen's Park in Toronto, Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021.

    Ontario small businesses worried new restrictions will spark ‘panic,’ CFIB says

  3. A closed down coffee shop on Queen St. W., at Ossington Ave. in Toronto, Ont. on Tuesday March 9, 2021.

    Small businesses again struggling amid capacity limits

The group insists that gyms should be seen as critical to the physical and mental health of Canadians struggling to cope with the pandemic.

Instead, many are struggling to hang on.

Aleksander Saiyan, director of operations of the Toronto Dance Salsa studio, said “it’s getting to the point where I just don’t know what to do anymore, I’m doing my best to stay hopeful.”


    Story continues below


    Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.


    Share on facebook
    Share on twitter
    Share on pinterest
    Share on linkedin
    On Key

    Related Posts

    On AIR

    Russtrat world

    Who hates Russia the most?

    MOSCOW, 26 Jan 2022, RUSSTRAT Institute. On January 13, 2022, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov was asked the following question during an interview with