The economic recovery of Canadian SMEs could take an average of a year and a half, but up to eight years for restaurants and hotels, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).
This grouping therefore urges the federal government and the provinces to provide more support to SMEs.
While nearly seven in ten SMEs fully reopened in September, only 30% of them said they had returned to their usual pre-pandemic sales.
“These data show that we have to move up a gear in our support for SMEs,” explains François Vincent, vice-president of the Quebec section of the CFIB.
The organization examined the evolution of the revenues of SMEs between June and September. While a V-shaped recovery in the economy was hoped for, the results show that the recovery appears to be heading towards a long period of income stagnation caused by COVID-19.
According to the study, hotels and restaurants are the most affected by this crisis. Conversely, SMEs in the social services and transport sectors are the least disrupted and could envision an improvement in less than a year.
Since August 18, the Quebec government has authorized all sectors of activity to offer their services again, in accordance with health instructions. During the crisis, the federal and provincial governments granted emergency assistance programs to SMEs and authorized the extension of loans made to these companies.
For CFIB, the economic recovery is mainly held back by lower consumer spending. The organization calls for greater support from governments to encourage local purchasing.
“Let us be clear: we cannot envisage an economic recovery without the resurgence of SMEs. They are and are the wealth of our economy, ”said Simon Gaudreault, senior director of national research for CFIB.