Newly released data shows business closures in Alberta spiked during the first two months the province dealt with growing COVID-19 infections, but experts caution more pain could be in store as the economy slowly rebuilds.
Close to 8,200 businesses in Alberta shut their doors in March, followed by more than 11,300 in April, according to figures released this week by Statistics Canada. From December 2019 to February — the three months before the novel coronavirus pandemic began affecting Alberta — an average of around 5,860 businesses closed per month.
Roughly 87 per cent more firms shut down this April — 6,040 Alberta businesses closed in April 2019.
“It’s pretty clear, just from the March and April numbers, that this spike was related to all the restrictions that were imposed on businesses having to close,” said Amélie Lafrance-Cooke, a senior research economist for Statistics Canada.