Last year, small business insolvencies hit a level not seen in more than a decade. And that was before this January's deadline to repay pandemic relief loans in order to have some portion of them forgiven. Most businesses haven't seen pre-pandemic levels of business return—and inflation coupled with high interest rates mean consumers have less and less money to spend.
How precarious are the independent businesses in your neighbourhood right now? If they close up shop, will anything replace them? Why has the government declined to extend loan repayment further? And what happens to our neighbourhoods if these businesses keep vanishing?
GUEST: Ryan Mallough, Ontario vice president with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business