City-centre businesses mount slower recovery than rural areas, CFIB says

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TORONTO — A new survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business suggests that businesses in Canada’s city centres are struggling more than their rural counterparts.

CFIB data released on Wednesday indicates that 22 percent of businesses polled in urban cores are at normal levels of sales compared to 37 percent in rural areas.

CFIB executive vice president Laura Jones says that empty downtown offices and non-existent international tourism might be to blame.

Overall, 66 percent of survey respondents say their business is fully open, while 40 percent are fully staffed and 28 percent are making normal sales.

CFIB represents about 110,000 small- and medium-sized businesses, and 5,119 members responded to the online survey, which ran from Aug. 13 to Aug. 18.

The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.