Photo Credit: PxHere

HOLIDAYS Pandemic threatens to deepen divide between big and small businesses


Wednesday, October 28, 2020 8:23:00 PM

- Canadians planning to spend majority of their holiday budgets at big businesses; #SmallBusinessEveryDay movement encourages conscious consumerism. -

While big businesses, like Amazon, are reporting significantly larger revenues compared to last year, small retailers are falling further behind, with the majority (62 per cent) still below normal revenues, warns the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). In light of Small Business Week this week, CFIB urges Canadians to shop consciously by choosing local, independent businesses every time they can.

"Most of us don't think too much about where we shop—if we can get everything we need with a few clicks or if we assume a big box store carries the best value, we may overlook the hundreds of small businesses around us that offer fantastic products and services while creating jobs and giving back to our communities," said Laura Jones, Executive Vice-President at CFIB. "When we choose to shop local, we choose to keep the money we spend in our economy, to support Canadian jobs and to invest in the businesses that make our communities vibrant. It's a choice we can all feel good about."

Holiday shopping may deepen the divide between small businesses and large retailers

Nine in 10 small businesses say the dominance of big businesses selling online, such as Amazon, threatens Canadian small businesses. This situation may worsen during the lead up to the holidays, as Canadians are planning to spend two thirds of their holiday budgets at big businesses, according to new public opinion research conducted by Maru/Matchbox.

"Small and big businesses didn't enter the pandemic on a level playing field and things have only gotten worse. During lockdowns, big box stores like Costco and Walmart were allowed to remain open and sell all kinds of goods because they have grocery sections, while many small businesses were shut down. Small businesses really need a good holiday season to even things out," added Dan Kelly, President at CFIB.

CFIB estimates that one in seven independent retailers is at risk of closing before the end of the pandemic.

Be a conscious consumer

Consumers can help small businesses recover by being thoughtful about where they shop and choosing independent businesses as often as possible, including finding them online.

Earlier this week, CFIB launched the Big Thank You contest* as part of #SmallBusinessEveryDay to make it fun for Canadians to support small business through the holiday season. Consumers can enter to win one of six Big Thank You boxes that include $500 cash to spend at a local business and unique products from across Canada, like an olive oil sampler pack from All Things Olive in Nova-Scotia and a cuffed beanie from NWT Brewing Co. in the Northwest Territories. The contest is sponsored by eBay Canada, Scotiabank and Mastercard. More information is available at smallbusinesseveryday.ca.

"Conscious consumerism is about empowering our spending to make a difference in our communities, to support our local economies, to align with our values, and to celebrate the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who own and operate a small business," concluded Jones.

For more details, read the full Conscious Consumerism: Choosing to Shop Small during the Pandemic document. This is the second in the Transformation of Canada's Small Businesses series of reports CFIB will release this fall.

SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Independent Business