BIPOC small business owners reaching new markets and adopting new technologies

Black, Indigenous, and people of colour (BIPOC) small business owners report that 31 per cent are seeing an improvement over their pre-pandemic performance, compared to 14 per cent of non-BIPOC small business owners, according to Scotiabank’s second annual Path to Impact Report which surveyed over 900 businesses from coast to coast. 

To stay competitive during the pandemic, BIPOC small business owners offered more online products, expanded their customer base, and improved their digital capabilities to a greater degree than their peers, said Scotiabank.

The report found:

–  54 per cent of small business owners in general feel they are doing the same or better than they were pre-pandemic;

– 77 per cent of small business owners feel well equipped to survive a future wave;

– 69 per cent of BIPOC small business owners say they feel extremely or very optimistic about their business’ future, compared to 55 per cent of non-BIPOC small business owners;

– 47 per cent of BIPOC small business owners are still disproportionately faced with systemic barriers that disadvantaged their businesses, despite the strong growth they reported this year;

– 40 per cent of the small businesses who invested in enhancing digital capabilities enabled remote work and 37 per cent launched an app or a website;

– 79 per cent of small business owners said they turned to someone for advice during the pandemic, but only 36 per cent of business owners turned to an advisor through a financial institution. However, those who did saw their fortunes improve much more than those who did not; and 

– 51 per cent of small businesses expect that they will need more financial support in the future to continue business operations.

“Canadian small business owners have found ways to adapt their business, investing heavily in digital and prioritizing flexibility to meet the expectations of customers,” said Jason Charlebois, Senior Vice President, Small Business, Scotiabank. “BIPOC small business owners have demonstrated their adaptability and fortitude by reaching new markets and incorporating new technologies to grow their businesses. While uncertainty remains, small business owners can benefit from seeking qualified advice, taking advantage of the various tools and supports, and looking broadly for new talent and customers as they pivot to succeed in the new normal.”

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