Pandemic Pivots Set Canadian Small Businesses Up for Rebound

New Study by Vistaprint Highlights Changes Small Business Made to Survive

Today, Vistaprint, the marketing and design partner to small businesses, released new survey findings illustrating the changes small business owners have made throughout the pandemic, and the impact those changes have had on their bottom line. While the pandemic has had a drastically negative impact on most small businesses, owners overwhelmingly feel the pivots they have made over the past year will have a long-term positive impact, empowering Canada’s small businesses to be more agile and nimble in the future.

The survey found that almost half (48%) reported a revenue decrease due to the pandemic with only 22% reporting a revenue increase. However, the challenges posed by the pandemic are being met with creativity and resourcefulness.

More than half of respondents (54%) believe the pivots made during the pandemic have made a positive or very positive impact on their business and helped them to meet the needs of their customers during this challenging time.

  • 48% of small business owners surveyed have started selling their products and services online since the pandemic
  • 33% plan to continue offering their products and services online once the pandemic is over
  • 41% adopted touch-free payment offerings, a practice 28% plan to keep long term

“We are heartbroken to see the toll that this pandemic has taken on small businesses, but we are also inspired by the way small businesses across Canada are navigating this challenging environment and finding creative ways to safely serve their customers,” says Canada Market Manager at Vistaprint, Sanja Sparica. “The data from our recent survey, while a sobering reality check, exemplifies the resiliency, creativity and determination of Canada’s small business community. We’re so proud to be the partner to these small businesses, and to be able to help them evolve in an ever-changing world.”

Vistaprint has worked throughout the pandemic to support the changing needs of its small business partners by leveraging existing machinery and expanding production capabilities to produce face shields and face masks. The company expanded its suite of online marketing and design solutions as small businesses pivoted or grew their online platforms. In addition, Vistaprint began offering printed materials to meet small business customers’ need for distancing and delivery-related products, including distanced floor decals, menus, packaging, stickers and labels. These much-needed solutions were made available within weeks following the onset of the pandemic and have helped small businesses pivot their usual processes and communicate safety measures to customers as they reopened under COVID-19 restrictions. Vistaprint is also donating a portion of face masks sales to charities supporting small businesses and the communities they serve. To date, these efforts have raised more than $5 million in cash and in-kind product donations.

Additional findings include:

  • Small businesses placed a higher emphasis on marketing, with 39% reporting that social media marketing has dominated with Facebook and Instagram leading the pack.
  • Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed say the changes made during the pandemic will help them outlast the pandemic.
  • Just under a quarter (23%) have invested more money in software and technology services to maintain their website.
  • 16% of Canadian small business owners say the size of their team has increased as a result of the pandemic and 64% say there is no difference in the size of their team.

Want to learn more about small business is shifting in 2021? Check out this article for insights and tips from small business experts.

About Vistaprint

Vistaprint is the marketing partner to millions of small businesses around the world, empowering each one to live their dreams. For more than 20 years, we have helped small businesses look and feel credible through high-quality marketing products and solutions that include signage, logo apparel, promotional products, face masks, flyers, postcards, business cards, websites and digital marketing. With Vistaprint, small businesses are able to create and customize their marketing with easy-to-use digital tools and design-templates, or by receiving expert graphic design support. In 2020, Vistaprint acquired 99designs to expand its design offering via a worldwide community of more than 150,000 talented freelance designers to make it easy for designers and clients to work together to create designs they love.  Vistaprint is focused on making great marketing and design accessible to every small business owner, allowing them to create a cohesive brand image for use in-store, online and on-the-go. To learn more, visit: Vistaprint is a Cimpress company (Nasdaq: CMPR).