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31% of BC small businesses unsure if they will survive the pandemic

(Files by Justin Madu-MyPGNow)

65% of small business owners reported being “very worried” about the negative financial impact of COVID-19.

This, according to a survey conducted by Insights West that asked 580 small business owners throughout the province about their concerns associated with the virus.

40 business owners represented were from Northern British Columbia.

Although most think the crisis is a 3 to 4 month event, nearly a third of businesses are not sure they will survive the crisis.

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A vast majority (93%) of small business owners surveyed are concerned about the negative financial impact.

“One of the biggest expenses, if you have a physical location, is your rent – and a lot of small businesses don’t own their building,” explained Steve Mossop, President of Insights West.

Rent concerns were reflected in the poll, as 54% of small businesses reported being worried about their ability to pay rent or mortgage for their company.

At the end of March, 43% of small businesses were shut down, 27% were operating but having difficulties, 23% were operating differently but still running, while only 8% said they were “operating as normal”.

Finally, the study’s findings indicate that business closures might be on the horizon.

While 31% of owners fear the pandemic may force them to shut down for good, 9% say that it will “definitely or probably” force them to close permanently.

“The ability for a small business to survive longer than that two or three month period is really compromised,” Mossop concluded.

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