$26K a month in rent with $0 coming in: London, Ont. business owner outlines impact of coronavirus

London Fine Furniture on Wharncliffe Road South is closed, its staff laid off, and heat and hydro are shut off, but the company is still on the hook for about $26,500 in monthly rent, including HST, according to owner Harold Duesbury.

“With zero dollars coming in and still having bills to pay, it makes it very tight,” he said.

Duesbury believes he’ll be OK — he is “trying to work something out” with his landlords, who he says have been good to him over the years — but many of his friends who are restaurant owners or other small business owners are wondering if their businesses will survive the coronavirus pandemic.

“A lot of them are telling me if this goes on for a couple of months that they’re probably going to go out of business.”

It’s a concern shared by many small businesses in Canada, according to a recent survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) conducted before announcements from the Ontario and Quebec governments ordering non-essential businesses to close.

A quarter of the businesses surveyed said they didn’t think they could survive a month if their sales were cut in half, while 39 per cent said they could survive one to three months.

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“The stores beside me — I’ve got The Brick on one side and Bad Boy on the other and Leon’s across the road — those stores are still open because they sell appliances. The only issue I’ve got with that setup is: every sofa they sell, every dining room set they sell, every piece of artwork they sell is a sale that I had zero chance to get. That makes it that much tougher.”

— with files from Global News’ Laura Hensley.

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