MONTREAL -- Half of Canadian small businesses have reported a drop in sales due to COVID-19 and a quarter say they won't survive a month if the pandemic continues to significantly cut their income, according to a new report by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

Four out of 10 businesses reported a drop in sales of more than 25 per cent, according to the CFIB, with the average reported financial hit being $66,000.

The CFIB survey found that arts/recreation, hospitality, personal services and retail businesses have been most affected by the pandemic.

Among the survey's other findings regarding small businesses and how they have been affected by COVID-19:

  • 43 per cent have reduced staff hours
  • 20 per cent have temporarily laid off staff
  • 38 per cent have experienced supply chain issues
  • 42 per cent said their sales would be reduced to zero if face-to-face contact becomes impossible

The online survey was launched March 13 and as of the time of the numbers reported above, 8,730 business owners had responded. The CFIB says a sample of that size would have a margin of error of +/- 1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.