Head Above Water: 1 in 6 small business owners considering closure, says CFIB

Ottawa, Ontario ⁠— One in six small business owners are considering going out of business, according to a report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). 

The CFIB’s report, released last Thursday, says official small business bankruptcy numbers have been “steadily increasing since the beginning of the year and are currently at a two-year high.” 

Insolvencies from the start of the pandemic peaked in March 2022, with 318 cases. Across industries, the construction and food services sectors have seen the most insolvencies since the onset of 2021. 

According to recent CFIB data, only ten percent of small business owners would choose to file for bankruptcy if they could not keep doors open; 46 percent of businesses at risk of closure said they would stop operating rather than go through the bankruptcy process. A further 27 percent would consider transferring the business to a new owner. 

The report also states that 54 percent of businesses are still reporting below-normal revenues. Sixty-two percent are carrying unpaid debt taken on during the pandemic, which rings up to $158,000, on average. 

Click here for the full details on the CFIB’s findings.


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