Entrepreneurs in BC didn’t show a lot of confidence in May according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

Optimism decreased by four points bringing the provincial index to about 53.

Senior Policy Analyst, Muriel Protzer told Vista Radio most small businesses in the province are worried about reduced consumer spending.

“Seventy-one percent of small businesses are worried about consumer spending right now and how that trend will change going into the future even as the COVID-19 crisis comes to some sort of a close and we are back to some sort of normality.”

“Canadians are very concerned and stressed about leaving their homes and it’s very important that as the situation progresses in British C0lumbia that as we do start to reopen different sectors in the community that there is clear communication from the Premier, province and the provincial health officer and it’s very important that it’s communicated that these businesses that are reopening are required to have safety plans in place and that it’s safe for people to head outside and engage in economic activity.”

Protzer adds 62% of small businesses are worried about cash flow when it comes to issues like meeting payroll and paying rent.

Earlier this month, Ottawa launched the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19.

Protzer adds there is a concern some landlords may not participate in the program and would like to see some adjustments from the federal government.

“What CFIB is asking that the program be further expanded so that the 50% rent relief the federal government is offering could apply to small businesses who could get that cash directly to them if their landlord chooses not to participate in that program.”

Applications for the CECRA began on Monday and the form can be found here.

The provincial confidence numbers for May were as follows:

  • Nova Scotia (59.2)
  • Ontario (57.1)
  • Alberta (55.5)
  • BC (52.7)
  • Saskatchewan (51.9)
  • Manitoba (50)
  • New Brunswick (47.8)
  • Newfoundland (42.5)
  • Quebec (35.7)
  • PEI (30)