CFIB Warns Of More Business Failures Due To Provincial Lockdowns

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is warning of more business failures in the year ahead as provincial governments enact new COVID-19 restrictions.

The CFIB had earlier estimated that 160,000 businesses would fail because of the pandemic. Now, the business lobby group says it needs to upwardly revise its estimates due to new provincial government restrictions, notably in Ontario and Quebec.

On Tuesday, Ontario’s government announced an order requiring residents to stay at home and restrictions on non-essential retail hours to between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Quebec has imposed a nightly curfew on residents of that province.

The CFIB said that debt business owners have accumulated to fund their operations over the past year is the biggest issue for CFIB’s 110,000 members. The CFIB has called these debt-laden companies and retailers "zombie businesses."

CFIB says that further government supports are needed to address business debt, pointing to the federal government’s $100 billion in new stimulus spending as a potential lifeline to take away some of the debt weighing on businesses.