By: Greg Staley
During a recent radio segment, Dan Kelly the President and CEO of the Canadian Federation for Independent Business (CFIB) said that the measures that are being taken to deal with Covid-19 are “absolutely slaughtering small businesses.”
Yesterday, Premier Ford announced another extension to the lockdown pushing the re-open date back to June 2nd. It should come as no surprise then that Mr. Kelly began the interview by saying “It’s a very sad day, not unexpected but sad nonetheless. Every single day we get business owners in the GTA across Ontario and across the country telling us that they’re done.” Mr. Kelly added that many business owners do not see a pathway for them to survive.
Mr. Kelly warned that the government’s actions are leading to a “growing sense of anger” and that the government has to watch that. The President of the CFIB said “we’re really close to a societal breakdown here where people are going to take action into their own hands. The number of emails I’m getting from small business owners suggesting just that – and this isn’t from the fringe.” This echoed the sentiment from Mr. Kelly’s Twitter account a few days prior where he said “business owners ready to defy lockdowns is growing by the minute, especially in Ontario.”
Mr. Kelly continued “these aren’t from the people that during the first wave or even during the second wave were even thinking that. They trusted the government and understood that there’s a deadly disease still out there and they gotta take precautions.”
Mr. Kelly’s biggest issue with the government’s handling of Covid was that they hadn’t found alternatives to blanket lockdowns or rolled out rapid testing on mass. Another sticking point for Mr. Kelly was that “the Ontario government has announced another extension of the lockdown for another two weeks with not a nickel of support for the business community.” Mr. Kelly added that “every province that has taken a lockdown measure has announced with it more money to support small businesses – more grants to get them through to the other side.”
Jerry Agar, the host of the Jerry Agar show on iHeart radio ended the segment by asking Mr. Kelly “what percentage of small businesses in Canada will we have lost when we get through this?” You can listen to the interview here.
Mr. Kelly replied “our data shows that across Canada we are expecting 180 thousand business fatalities – 75,000 of those in Ontario. This is on top of the 60,000 businesses that closed in 2020. That means that across Canada 1 in 6 businesses will close and in Ontario 1 in 5 given the length of the measures. That’s 20 percent of Ontario’s businesses we expect to disappear because of the lockdown measures. That’s small and medium-sized companies filling our main streets gone forever. All the contributions they make to the kid’s sports teams to creating jobs for young people gone and that’s what we’re facing.”
Jerry Agar, the host of the show responded “yep, I think a lot of what politicians are doing is just cruel and uncaring. I’m sorry to have to say that about political people but that’s where I’m at with this.”
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