The fate of Toronto small businesses seems bleak. A survey conducted on hundreds of stores in one area of the downtown core suggests the majority might have to close permanently in the next three months. The Broadview-Danforth Business Improvement Area surveyed over 560 small businesses and found that only around one-third of them believe they can last until late July right now.

Toronto, like many regions, has seen a significant number of shops and other businesses forced to close temporarily as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Store owners have struggled with reduced demand and the stresses of paying rent and other bills during this time.

And the survey by the Broadview-Danforth BIA, made available to Narcity by email, found that almost two-thirds of businesses located in the neighbourhood fear they might have to close up shop forever due to the financial strain they are currently facing.

Out of the 561 businesses which participated in the survey, 45% are service businesses, 21% are bars or restaurants, and 34% are retail stores, per CP24.

The survey found 17% of businesses are confident of lasting only another month, 21% are set for two more months, and another 23% believe they have the capacity to run for another three months, until late July.

Only 9% of those surveyed think they can last regardless of how long restrictive measures are in place.

Overall, a whopping 76% said they will likely have to close down permanently within the next five months unless things change, per Global News.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford suggested on Wednesday that measures could potentially ease up by Victoria Day weekend, but nothing is for certain at the moment.

Meanwhile, when it comes to rent, the survey found that around 50% of businesses could afford to pay in full in April. In contrast, 29% couldn't pay it at all, and 11% said they could only pay about half of their rental costs.

Nearly 85% of businesses surveyed suggested some kind of government rent relief program would be useful right now.

"Before this survey, we could only speculate on the impact of the pandemic on our Main Streets. Now we know that without rent relief many businesses simply will not be able to re-open," Toronto City Councillor Paula Fletcher said, per Global.

"The clock is ticking for the future of small business in this city."

Although businesses have implemented measures to ensure social distancing through drive-through orders, in the most Canadian way, others are still facing difficulties bringing revenue in.

There's a long way to go yet, but the situation seems bleak right now in the 6ix.

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