Canadian small businesses term 2022 holiday season important for their financial health

By Saeed Akhtar
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The Milton Reporter

A new survey has found that shopping locally could make or break the holiday season for small business retailers, with 72 percent of Canadian small businesses saying the 2022 holiday season is more important to their overall financial health compared to last year. 

However, holiday spending with Canadian small businesses could hit up to $10 billion if Canadian consumers shop small.

The results of the new Intuit QuickBooks Holiday Shopping Survey, which surveyed 1,700 Canadian consumers and 700 Canadian small businesses, also highlight how fragile consumer confidence and demand for competitive pricing could spoil the holiday season for retailers. 

If the economy worsens this year, 84 percent of Canadian consumers plan to reduce their holiday spending. This comes at a time when inflation is making consumers more price-sensitive, with 67 percent of consumers planning to buy fewer gifts for friends and family to mitigate financial impact.

Small businesses have faced a tough year, with increased shipping costs, supply chain issues, and labor shortages. 

“The holidays are vital to many Canadian small businesses, as the season can drive up to 65 percent of their annual revenue,” said David Marquis, vice president and Canada country manager at Intuit. “Our findings show consumers love the quality and service they receive from small businesses, and more than 8 in 10 consumers plan to maintain or increase spending at small businesses when crossing items off their shopping list. This time of year presents an incredible opportunity for small businesses to meet consumers’ needs and take full advantage of the biggest shopping season of the year.”

Rowan, a Milton business owner who deals in winter sports equipment, said he was looking forward to this holiday season to cover for the tough year he had. “See, you can buy all the stuff from multi-million dollar enterprises as well, but if you shop locally, it ultimately results in the prosperity of your own community”, he said. 

Ali Ahmad, owner of a Halton gift shop said he wanted this year to close in green. “Cost of doing business skyrocketed this year resulting in lower profits, sometimes even losses. All hopes are now from this holiday season so that the year ends on a good note”, he said.