Small business closures to further weaken purchasing power in Toronto

COVID-19 has impaired the payment schedules of businesses and landlords alike

Small business closures to further weaken purchasing power in Toronto

Toronto is likely to suffer another blow to its already dwindling purchasing power as around 61% of small businesses across the market might have to permanently shut down within three months, according to a recent survey by the Broadview-Danforth Business Improvement Area.

The poll found that amid the economic ravages of the coronavirus pandemic, at least 23% of Toronto’s small businesses could last for another three months taking into account their “current/expected revenue” levels. Meanwhile, 21% said that they can survive for two months, and 17% said that they can last for only one more month.

Lower incomes across the board have significantly harmed this segment: Only 28% said that they can pay their rents for May in full, while as much as 38% said that they wouldn’t be able to make their rent payments.

Approximately 85% said that a program focused on rent relief will be helpful, although some business groups have raised concerns that such programs would not prove sufficient to address the fundamental issue.

Mayor John Tory said in an interview with CP24 that the government has implemented several steps to help the sector survive for much of this year.

“I don’t think it is any accident that the time period they are talking about also happens to be the time period chosen by the governments for the relief programs, the individual relief programs and the wage subsidy programs and so on,” Tory said. “I think what we have to do is hope that through maintaining physical distancing and staying home and doing what we have to do that those numbers (of cases) will keep going down and that we will be in a situation where we can start to reopen the city.”