COVID-19: Businesses still struggle with accrued debt

That Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has launched a new quarterly report with short-term economic forecasts and job vacancies data. This month, she takes stock of the financial situation of small businesses after more than two years of pandemic disruption.

CFIB partnered with the consulting firm AppEco to create these short-term economic forecasts for certain macroeconomic indicators. Justified Quarterly SME Outlook, the report also provides an estimate of vacancies in the private sector. The current edition focuses on Canadian SMEs’ borrowing costs and debt.

Vacancies: high rates

The CFIB reports that the private sector continues to record high rates: 4.9% of positions were vacant in the third quarter of 2022. In addition, more than 660,000 positions have not been filled for at least four months. The highest prices are found in Quebec, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.

The CFIB adds that many SMEs are still in a precarious financial situation: 4 out of 10 have still not started repaying their debts from the pandemic.

“To survive the pandemic, 65% of SMEs used federal government loans, 24% used a credit card, and 23% used a line of credit. On average, 40% of SMEs still have not repaid their pandemic-related debt. In addition, 55% of SMEs indicate ‘s that their financial situation, including the management of their pandemic debt, continues to pose significant challenges. »

Retail sales and inflation

In its report, the CFIB also looks at gross domestic product (GDP), retail sales and inflation. The latter is expected to fall in the fourth quarter of 2022, albeit slightly, it says.

“We hope that publications such as Quarterly SME Outlook will provide insight into the current reality for small business owners in Canada,” says Simon Gaudreaultchief economist and vice president of research, CFIB.

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