Sixty-four per cent of small-to-medium-sized businesses that operated online stores on Facebook reported lower sales due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. That is slightly higher than the global average of 62 per cent of SMBs.
The new survey from Facebook, in collaboration with the World Bank and the OECD, said that globally small business owners are optimistic about their road to recovery, but that there are still many challenges ahead.
The survey, which sampled 30,000 small business owners across 50 countries, said that 41 per cent of those SMBs in Canada are “expecting cash flow to be a challenge in the coming months” and that 40 per cent are reducing their workforce because of the pandemic.
“In spite of significant challenges, businesses undoubtedly face, there is also evidence that SMBs have been preparing to reopen and have adjusted their business models to adapt to the post COVID-19 economic environment.
“Many business leaders also indicate that they adapted to the pandemic by setting up an online website or business presence,” it said.
In Canada, the 64 per cent that operated on Facebook during the pandemic said in the report that 25 per cent or more of their sales “were made digitally in the past month.”
Despite the coming challenges the pandemic will have on businesses, the report said 61 per cent of SMBs on Facebook say they feel “optimistic about the future of their business.”
The survey was conducted between May 28 and 31 and about 352 were Canadian SMBs, the report said.
Facebook said that over the next six months, SMBs will be surveyed monthly regarding business operations “in the context of COVID-19 to capture the impacts of the pandemic on the financials and challenges of SMBs, as well as adjustments being implemented in response to the crisis.”
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