Small Business Health Index

Daily sales activity tracker from merchants across Canada

Last updated: April 1, 2020

An anonymized performance index of daily sales offers an opportunity to observe industries that are most likely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. We offer industry and regional insights for those that require the most support from the business community to stay afloat and persevere. The well-being of our partners and customers are at the forefront of our thoughts.

Industries

IndustryTotal WeekMar 31 vs Mar 24Mar 30 vs Mar 23Mar 27 vs Mar 20Mar 26 vs Mar 19Mar 25 vs. Mar 18
Auto Related-20%-16%-17%-39%-22%-2%
Groceries-8%-2%-10%-8%-32%4%
Health & Wellness-57%9%-47%-79%-68%-71%
Restaurant & Bar-30%-12%-23%-47%-50%-46%
Retail-51%-64%-57%-72%-21%-22%
Other*-27%-17%-19%-58%-34%-20%
Total-33%-32%-30%-53%-29%-18%

Source: POS terminal transaction data from over 600 merchants across Canada. Daily sales are compared to the previous week.
* "Other" combines data from the following industries: Professional Services, Sports & Leisure, Construction & Trades, Tourism & Travel, and Transportation.


Provinces

ProvinceTotal WeekMar 31 vs. Mar 24Mar 30 vs. Mar 23Mar 27 vs. Mar 20Mar 26 vs. Mar 19Mar 25 vs. Mar 18
British Columbia-47%-12%-59%-62%-50%-54%
Alberta-11%-27%31%-35%-28%14%
Saskatchewan-34%-53%6%-72%-8%15%
Manitoba-40%-36%-33%-37%-71%-32%
Ontario-37%-40%-40%-60%-16%-22%
Quebec-24%-22%-29%-43%-25%2%
Atlantic Provinces & Northern Territories-22%-19%-16%-35%-31%-9%
Total-33%-32%-30%-53%-29%-18%

Source: POS terminal transaction data from over 600 merchants across Canada. Daily sales are compared to the previous week.


Insights

Small businesses in Canada continue to face challenges during these unprecedented times. All regions are being impacted, and B.C. experienced a noticeable shift this week. This is likely due to increased social distancing measures and regulations imposed by the provincial government.

Compared to last week, all industries are now feeling to impact of this pandemic.

Restaurants and bars experienced a ↓68% drop in sales this week, as they continue adapting to take-out and delivery orders only. 

Grocery stores saw a noticeable shift this week, with sales decreasing by ↓28% this week, as compared to an increase of ↑12% last week. Consumers stocked up most of their pantries last week, as social distancing is now well underway. Many consumers are using apps like Instacart to buy their groceries remotely. Groceries purchased through Instacart are predominantly from large chain retailers, as opposed to smaller grocers. 

Retail stores saw a ↓40% drop in weekly sales. Certain provinces have imposed that only "essential businesses" remain open during this pandemic, which has forced certain types of retail stores to temporarly close their doors. Many retail stores continue to shift online to mitigate the loss of in-store sales. 

In the retail industry, sports & leisure stores are still performing strong, as consumers are buying exercise equipment, bikes, and other sporting goods to adapt to social distancing and focus on stay-at-home workouts.


Here’s how Canadian consumers can help:

Purchase takeout (where available) or gift cards from your favorite local restaurants or stores. These are just two of many ways we can show our encouragement to those business owners slammed with closure mandates as a result of the need to socially distance ourselves.

Order delivery from your local restaurants. To help support local restaurants and their Dashers, DoorDash has made no-contact delivery a default option, and a commission relief package for new and existing restaurants.

Shift your online purchases from Amazon to your local retail store’s e-commerce store (if they have one). However, be mindful of Canada Post’s recent updates to delivery in Canada.

Sign up for your local small business’ newsletters to stay up to date with their situation.

Be aware of local businesses altering their hours of operations.

If possible, using teleconferencing services such as Zoom can help bridge businesses and customers.

When re-stocking on groceries, try purchasing from small local grocery stores or convenience stores before heading to larger chains.

As many clinics are closing their doors, it’s important to discover new ways to keep yourself healthy. That includes at-home exercises and getting plenty of rest.


COVID-19 Small Business Resource Centre

We've created a dedicated hub with industry-specific insights, business management tips, and the latest news updates.
We are constantly updating this resource centre with valuable content, including our whitepaper on adapting your business to COVID-19.

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