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CFIB - construction open
June 16, 2020

Half of small businesses in Canada now fully open including 77% of the construction industry

Half of small businesses are now fully open, but sales remain low, finds a new survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). Only 17 per cent indicate they are making their usual sales for this time of year.

New Brunswick is Canada’s most open province, with two thirds of businesses there fully open, but only one in four reporting that they are making normal sales. As a result of a significant reopening of the small business community in Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario is now Canada’s most closed economy with 43 per cent of small firms fully open. Businesses in Nova Scotia and Ontario are struggling the most from a sales perspective with only 12 and 14 per cent respectively reporting they are making their usual sales revenue for this time of year.

% fully open and sales by province

%  fully open67666157575251515043
% with normal sales24202221252117191214
*Weekly sample size too small in PEI

“This week marks a major milestone in Canada’s economic recovery with half of small businesses now fully open,” said CFIB president Dan Kelly. “However, the share of those making normal sales remains very low. Only 30 per cent of firms that are fully open report normal sales levels. This tells us that we have a long, long way to go before small firms are out of the woods.”

% fully open and sales by sector

% open % with normal sales
Professional services (e.g. law firms)6625
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate6030
Personal services (e.g. hair salons)5816
Enterprise management5218
Social services (e.g. chiropractors)396
Arts and recreation (e.g. gyms)246
Hospitality (e.g. restaurants)187

The hospitality/restaurant and arts and recreation sectors continue to have the lowest share of fully open businesses, and the lowest share making normal sales, along with social services and transportation. The transportation and construction sectors have the biggest gaps between fully open businesses and those making normal sales.

To support small businesses through the bumpy road to recovery, CFIB has developed a number of tools and resources, including:

  • Free access to CFIB’s team of experts for one-on-one advice on all government support programs at
  • A downloadable “Back to Business” kit, including information on provincial guidelines, a customizable “We’re open” poster and workplace safety templates at
  • A “PPEs for SMEs” Facebook group, where small businesses looking to buy PPE can connect with those that produce it
  • A program to boost confidence among consumers that they can safely return to small firms through CFIB’s participation in the POST Promise


The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members across every industry and region. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings.

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