Small Retailers in Canada Face Revenue Decline Due to Big Business: CFIB Report Urges Consumers to Rethink Local Shopping Habits [Video Interview]


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A majority (78 per cent) of small retailers say they’re losing revenue and customers to big businesses, according to a new report by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), which reminds consumers to challenge the way they think about shopping local.

The report, created in partnership with Scotiabank, is entitled Small Business, Big Impact: Small Retailers’ Local Contributions and reveals that over nine in 10 Canadians (92 per cent) said they love having small businesses in their community, but only 13 per cent do most of their shopping at small businesses. 

Emily Boston

Instead, most people (87 per cent) reported doing the bulk of their shopping at large multinational retailers, either in-store or online.

“Even a small change in spending habits will have a positive impact on local economies. Small businesses are the cornerstones of our communities. They hire and train the next generation of leaders, offer unique products and personalized services, and foster a strong sense of community,” said Emily Boston, a Policy Analyst at CFIB and the co-author of the report. “We encourage everyone to prioritize shopping local not just during Small Business Week, but throughout the whole year as well.”

“Despite the many contributions that small businesses make to their communities, most consumers don’t support them on a daily basis even though they recognize the importance of shopping local. There are many misconceptions among consumers, including that small retailers and multinational businesses contribute to local economies equally. In fact, when you shop at a small, independent retailer, six times more of that money stays in your local economy than when you shop at a large multinational retailer,” said Taylor Matchett, CFIB’s senior research analyst and co-author of the report. “Small businesses are also more price competitive than you think. Changing your current habits does not have to come with a higher price tag or less convenience.”

Taylor Matchett

The report found that nearly all small retailers (97 per cent) said they contribute to their community or province in at least one way— the top ways they do so include donating to charities and causes (74 per cent), sponsoring local events and teams (56 per cent) and providing job opportunities for youth (55 per cent).

In this video interview, Boston discusses the report and its impact on the small business community in Canada.

The Video Interview Series by Retail Insider is available on YouTube.

Connect with Mario Toneguzzi, a veteran of the media industry for more than 40 years and named in 2021 a Top Ten Business Journalist in the world and the only Canadian – to learn how you can tell your story, share your message and amplify it to a wide audience. He is Senior News Editor with Retail Insider and owner of Mario Toneguzzi Communications Inc. and can be reached at

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Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.


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