Support Small Business During COVID-19 Pandemic

Author: James Heaps

Support Small Business During COVID-19 Pandemic

Who employs Canadians?

When we hear ‘Small Business’, we do not think BIG but we should. In Canada ‘Small Business’ is not small at all- in fact ‘Small Business’ is the ‘Big Business’; here are some Canadian ‘Small Business’ Stats:

  • Comprise almost 98% of all Canadian businesses
  • Employ over 8 million Canadians
  • Employ 70% of the total private-sector labour force


Let’s take a look at the most common financial concerns for a small business in the midst of COVID-19:

  1. Employees. A 5% change in employment across all Canadian small businesses would see 400,000 individuals unemployed or roughly 35% of the current number unemployed (1.1 MM) pre COVID- 9. With small businesses closing, reducing hours, and shifting more to online retail, in order to survive, we could see a dramatic increase in unemployment that will have a lasting effect on our economy.
  2. Where does a business do business? If a business has an office, retail location, or other tenant leases they will likely be obligated to continue to pay lease expenses no matter how bad the COVID-19 pandemic. The discussion between tenants and landlords needs to be transparent; self-awareness by tenants and client awareness by landlords will make for collaborative long-term solutions. Put in simpler terms collaboration could be the difference between a tenant or no tenant for landlords.
  3. Liquidity. Think inventory, accounts payable and accounts receivable. How quickly can you convert a product, service, or obligation to cash or defer to preserve cash? Are you going to get paid by your customers and can you pay your suppliers on terms agreed upon? The ability to get liquid (get to cash) has implications for every business when sales slow down materially- in today’s environment, it can be the difference between being able to maintain employees, cover operating costs, or even whether a business survives or not.


Below are a couple of ways we can support the major contributors to our economy, please add to this article on additional ways we can help small businesses through the COVID-19 environment.

  1. Ask the small businesses you frequent what you can do for them. Many will have a plan in place or an alternative way they will operate.
  2. Be an advocate. Promote your favorite small business, why do you like it, a story about the entrepreneurs/employees, leave reviews, promote on social media. Advertising expenses will be cut, do your part and take on a bit of the responsibility.
  3. If a store is still operating online or offline buy a bit more than you usually do if you are going to buy the goods anyway in the future.
  4. Gift Cards. As liquidity is a concern broadly across the small business this helps immensely with getting through the immediate period.

In a time where social distancing is paramount, it is vital we act as a community to support Canadian small businesses. Our community is a community that supports small businesses that are looking to sell their business, business brokers, and those interested in buying a business.

PLEASE provide your thoughts on additional ways we can SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESS.

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