Over one-third, or 32 per cent, of small businesses in Canada are unsure they will be able to reopen their doors after the economic blow from COVID-19, according to a survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

The survey results, published Tuesday, reveal that small businesses remain extremely anxious about the impact that the pandemic will have on their operations, with COVID-19 costing them $160,000 on average.

To help offset the financial burden many businesses are facing, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday the government’s previously-announced wage subsidy would apply to any company, charity or non-profit to help cover three-quarters of salaries for businesses that have seen their revenue drop by at least 30 per cent due to COVID-19. The wage subsidy will be capped at $847 per week and backdated to March 15.

In a release Monday, CFIB President Dan Kelly says that the wage subsidy announcement was critical to help avoid the possible flood of permanent closures in the weeks to come.

"Putting in place a 75 per cent wage subsidy was terrific news and we are already hearing from business owners who have delayed layoffs as a result,” Kelly said.

Sixty-eight per cent of respondents to the CFIB survey view the wage subsidy as helpful.

“Stress among business owners is very high and it's critical that the wage subsidy and other measures are accessible to as many businesses as possible to avoid a flood of permanent closures in the weeks and months to come,” Kelly said.