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his month’s BEC Executive Interview is with Dan Kelly. Kelly

                                                     is the President, CEO, and Chair of the Board of Governors of
                                             Tthe Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), and

                                             the lead spokesperson and advocate for the views of the Federation's

                                             95,000 small and medium-sized member businesses.

                                             Following the onset of the pandemic, Canada experienced a drastic

                                             drop in its real gross domestic product (GDP), with the economy
                                             contracting 18.2% between March and April 2020. We spoke to Kelly

                                             about the role of independent businesses to the Canadian economy,

                                             and how the CFIB has supported Canadian independent businesses
                                             for 50 years.

                                             Q: Please give an overview of Independent Businesses in Canada. What

                                             do they contribute to the country’s economy? How many Canadians are

                                             employed by independent businesses?
                                             A: Canada is a nation of small, independent businesses.  There are

                                             over 1.1 million small firms with paid staff and if you include the self-
                                             employed, there are over 3 million Canadians who work for themselves.

                                             Many Canadians don’t realize that half of the country’s GDP and 60

                                             per cent of private sector employment is created by small businesses.

                                             Q: What impact has the COVID 19 Pandemic had on Canada’s

                                             Independent Businesses?
                                             A: The pandemic has had a massive impact on Canada’s small

                                             business community. This is especially true in certain sectors that

                                             typically deliver services face-to-face with their customers, such as
                                             retail, hospitality, personal services and arts and recreation. Lockdowns

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