Intelligent Issue 13 | Page 62




peak of Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy ( CEWS ) applications between May – June 2020 , businesses with fewer than 251 employees accounted for 97 % of applicants .
Although employment continues to languish below pre-pandemic levels , SMEs make up most of the employment gains since April 2020 , with 75 % of net job gains occurring at firms with fewer than 100 employees .
Looking towards the future , Canada , along with the US , will be going through a period of expansion , creating once-in-lifetime opportunities for SMEs to grow , expand into new markets and develop new products .
Consumer spending likely to shift

Canada is expected to undergo the strongest economic expansion in decades , providing small- and medium-sized enterprises ( SMEs ) with new growth opportunities in the coming months . With a close key on COVID-19 cases , SMEs continue their path towards recovery with a promising growth outlook for the future .

SMEs play a vital role in the Canadian economy accounting for a large share of business , employment and overall economic activity – they were also some of the hardest hit by the pandemic . Now , many SMEs are looking forward to their recovery and new growth opportunities .
Scotiabank Economics ’ Nikita Perevalov released the report , Small- and Medium-Sized Business Trend Report : Post-Pandemic Recovery on the state of SMEs in Canada and the key trends shaping the business landscape .
Recovery has been strong but uneven
According to Scotiabank ’ s report , SMEs accounted for most of the employment losses and during the
With restrictions around travel and dining out , consumers shifted their spending to home renovations , electronics , cars and housing . Moving forward , we are likely to see demand shift again as vaccinations in Canada continue to increase and previously closed businesses re-open their doors . This rotation in demand should allow some firms to catch their breath and work on alleviating their supply chains strains , while others finally enjoy the return of their customers .
E-commerce leaps ahead , sets new normal
Small businesses across Canada rose to the challenges presented by COVID-19 and pivoted to new ways of doing business . Many embraced the rise of e-commerce with the share of firms who obtain more than 50 % of revenue from online sales rising for all business ’ sizes between 2019 and 2020 .
Additionally , there was a significant shift for firms with 5 – 99 employees , a segment that historically underutilised technology compared to the Canadian average . With an incredibly strong economic expansion in Canada , the next few years present an opportunity for SMEs to rebuild and grow their business . �
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