For almost half of small business owners, the result of these barriers was a retirement disruption, including two-fifths (42%) who said they were postponing retirement and a much smaller minority (5%) who retired earlier than them had intended. For many, getting out of the game early is a tough decision as 55% of business owners said their business’s value has been negatively impacted by months of COVID-19 restrictions.
“The retirement savings impact underscores the extent to which this pandemic has affected small business owners and their families,” said Simon Gaudreault, CFIB senior director of national research.
The decision to move on has also proven painful for 7% of business owners who said they had to dive into their nest egg to fund their business. Additionally, the CFIB stated that small businesses currently have an average debt of over $ 170,000. Among homeowners who have had to borrow money, three-quarters (76%) said it will take more than a year to repay, and 11% fear they may never be able to repay everything.
Aside from investing in security protocol compliance, much of the business owners’ funding effort has been toward more digital operations. Since the pandemic began, 152,000 business owners have entered the e-commerce market, according to the CFIB, resulting in a third of all small businesses now having an online sales presence. The biggest adopters of digital technologies have been retailers, arts and leisure establishments such as gyms, hospitality businesses, and healthcare providers, all of which have been hardest hit by bans.
“Many small businesses are no longer in business or are unsure of their future. CFIB itself has 15,000 fewer members as Canada enters a second year of the pandemic, ”Kelly said. “While CFIB prides itself on providing free assistance to every small business owner until the pandemic ends, the provinces must ensure they find a way to end lockdowns across the country for good.”