This is how many businesses have closed in Ontario during COVID-19

The Canadian arts, entertainment and recreation sector is the "furthest from recovery," according to Statistics Canada

As of September, Ontario has seen an 8.3 per cent drop in active businesses since pandemic began.

In a new report on business closings and openings, Statistics Canada estimated 25,614 Ontario businesses have closed since February.

Overall, the report counts 741,139 active businesses across Canada in September 2020, a 7.2 per cent decline compared with 798,440 businesses operating in February.

COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions started in March, and at the time, there were 770,128 active businesses.

The StatsCan report notes that “public health measures had been substantially eased throughout the country” in September, though Ontario and British Columbia had new guidelines for businesses in place at that point.

However, the report does not cover the later period in the fall when provinces such as Ontario implemented additional measures that closed businesses in the restaurant and retail sectors.

The province expanded lockdown measures on Boxing Day, forcing more retail to shutter.

The federal government will release data on the impact of the October and November restrictions on businesses in January and February.

Overall, the September 2020 number of 741,139 businesses in operation is the highest in the last six months starting from April.

In its report, the agency stated that 32,830 businesses closed in September 2020, 0.9 per cent less than were observed in August.

But the month wasn’t all bad news. A total of 46,517 businesses opened in the same month.

Canadian arts sector “furthest from recovery”

Gains were not felt equally across all sectors. Business closures hit new lows in manufacturing, retail trade and arts, entertainment and recreation.

Statistics Canada noted that the number of active businesses in arts, entertainment and recreation was “furthest from recovery in September.”

These businesses were down 12.8 per cent or 1,855 businesses since February.

The tourism sector was “second furthest” with a 11.9 per cent decline amounting to 9,313 businesses closed since February.

The majority or 65 per cent of the decline in the tourism sector was due to losses in food and beverage services.

A recent report by the Canadian Independent Music Association found that the indie music sector won’t recover to pre-COVID levels until at least 2023-2024.

A version of this story originally appeared in the Georgia Straight. With files from NOW staff.


Comments (2)

  • Herry January 3, 2021 02:37 PM

    SCAMDEMIC !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ken February 25, 2021 08:26 PM

    I own a nails salon business but only open six months before covid-19 hit. During the first six month we were in the process of building clientel. March of 2020, we were force to shut down and re-open in June 2020 but no business because of customer’s fear of getting infected of covid-19. On November of 2020 until now were force to shut down again. Since March 0f 2020 we apply for CEBA, RRRF and DBC but they all declined us. Landlords are not giving us a break or some source of reduction on the rents. Now we in the process of applying for Ontario government’s grant but we haven’t heard anything yet. We also applying for rents relief fund but still haven’t heard anything yet for the past month. We are currently owed 5 months of rents and have no money to pay. We are seriously consider of closing down business but we still have 3 and half years of lease contract. Landlord are in the progress of suing us which may lead to bad credit. Which means that will affect us next mortgage renewal. What can we do or can the government help us to avoid from having a bad credit?

    Thank you

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