The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is asking provincial governments for lockdown alternatives and increased financial support for small businesses.
The call comes as provinces move to reintroduce restrictions in many areas in an attempt to stem rising COVID-19 case counts.
CFIB president Dan Kelly says the first two shutdowns were devastating with one in six businesses considering permanent closure.
The group says a survey found that two thirds of small businesses would consider using COVID-19 rapid tests to remain open.
CFIB says Canadian small businesses on average have taken on $170,000 in COVID-19-related debt.
It says three quarters of respondents said it will take more than a year to pay off.
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