73% of Canadian business owners feel optimistic about reopening safely after the lockdown

3 min read
Cate Barker

The pandemic has taken a toll on all Canadian businesses, with smaller businesses often suffering more, simply because they don’t have the resources larger businesses have. Nonetheless, most are ready and raring to go says a new survey.

GoDaddy’s study showed that business owners with one to four employees feel very prepared to reopen safely.

The study, carried out by Logit Group, checked in with a random sample of 500 Canadian small business owners. The group included slightly more males than females (54% to 46%).

Pie Chart Showing Geographic Spread of Survey Respondents

For the purposes of the study, small businesses were defined as those with between one and 99 employees (58% of survey respondents were micro businesses with four or fewer employees). All respondents were employed full-time.

Over 35% of the businesses had been in business for more than 10 years.

The online survey was in market for roughly two weeks in May 2020 with a result accuracy within +/- 4.5 per cent.

Embracing digital technology

Pauline Caballero Power Yoga Canada]

When provinces and territories began shutting down in March 2020, small business owners across the country were shocked. But it didn’t take them long to start improvising ways to keep meeting customer needs. For many, this meant adopting online tools.

  • Roughly half of those surveyed had a website or active social media account before the pandemic hit. That number has almost doubled.
  • 37% of respondents plan to maintain their online activity even after they can reopen their physical shops and facilities.

"Just like everyone else, we had to quickly adapt our business strategy," says Pauline Caballero, Co-Founder of Power Yoga Canada (above). The 12-studio chain pivoted to offer a full selection of classes and workshops online throughout the shutdown.

"We are looking forward to opening the doors to our studios once it is safe to do so,” she says. “We are ready to implement new measures to ensure we meet government guidelines."

Editor’s note: If you don’t have a website, now’s the time to get one. Connect with customers down the block (or around the world!) with Websites + Marketing. Fast, easy, free.

Top challenges

Person Holding a Fresh Pizza

As eager as they are to get back to work, the business owners surveyed know they may be facing headwinds.

Other challenges named by survey respondents include:

  • Maintaining required levels of hygiene (26%)
  • Supply chain issues (25%)
  • The challenges inherent in working from home (25%)
  • Paying employees (24%)
  • Paying rent (24%)

At least one of these is being addressed in the short term, with the Canadian government recently extending the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy through August 29, 2020.

Related: 5 point checklist to reopen your business

One for all, all for one

The survey revealed another interesting fact: Canada’s small business owners are doing what they can to help.

  • Almost half of business owners said they are offering free tools and resources for vulnerable customers or employees.
  • 88% percent plan to continue sourcing supplies locally — even after the pandemic is over.

Wondering what you can do to help? Small business owners have an answer to that, with 69% saying ordering products and services online is the best thing you can do to keep a local business afloat. The next most popular suggestion was sharing your support of local businesses on social media.

GoDaddy is empowering everyday entrepreneurs around the world by providing all of the help and tools they need to succeed online. Click here to see a trio of tools (two of them free) to help you stay open and connected — come what may.