FreshBooks Announces Data-Sharing Partnership With Ontario Government To Provide Insight Into How Small Businesses Fared During COVID-19

Toronto, CANADA, July 19, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — FreshBooks, a Canadian cloud accounting software with paying customers in 100+ countries, announced that it had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ontario government to share data and insights regarding small business recovery trends. The MOU will help small businesses and entrepreneurs by using FreshBooks’ data to help identify weaknesses and gaps in government programs to support timely and impactful decision making and policy development. The data, which is representative of FreshBooks’ extensive business owner base in Ontario, will be anonymized and aggregated before being shared with the provincial government. 

“Access to timely, quality data makes all the difference when it comes to making good decisions both in government and in business. We’re glad to share our lens and insights, and play an important part in this next phase of small business recovery,” said Paul Cowan, Chief Marketing Officer, FreshBooks. “We’re eager to provide this valuable line of sight for Ontario’s policymakers into what’s happening in the small business sector.”

Recent insights from FreshBooks’ data include: 

  • COVID-19 has exacerbated the stressors that small business owners face, especially for women-owned businesses. Women-owned businesses in Canada took nearly twice as long to recover from the financial setbacks brought on by COVID-19 than businesses owned by men.
  • Some industries have experienced significant growth, for example the Construction and Trades industry which saw a 10% increase in new clients compared to other industries, others have had a tougher time navigating the pandemic. 
  • Ontario-based businesses saw revenues decline by over 10%, on average, during the start of the province’s most-recent stay-at-home order which began at the start of April.*

FreshBooks’ data-sharing partnership with the Ontario government is meant to provide advocacy and support, and aims to shine a light on how small businesses are affected by policy change and seismic events. In September 2020, the company also launched its Your Voice program, a virtual, lunch-time roundtable series connecting FreshBooks customers directly with policymakers from all areas and levels of politics. The series provides a forum for small business owners to share their views and experiences first-hand with those who have the ability to make changes that impact their lives and businesses. 

Earlier this month, FreshBooks rolled out the ability for Canadian customers to pay for their subscriptions in Canadian currency along with clear and transparent pricing plans. Following its built-for-owners philosophy, these new service offerings aim to meet the growing demand and unique needs of Canada’s small business ecosystem. Learn more about the newly launched Canadian pricing page: https://www.freshbooks.com/en-ca/pricing.

*This data point was calculated using proprietary data from FreshBooks during the period of April 5th, 2021 and May 31st, 2021. It analyzes the Total Revenue metric for full-time and part-time businesses in Ontario. 

About FreshBooks

FreshBooks is changing the way business owners manage their books. Its owner-first accounting platform, loved by businesses in over 100 countries, takes an easy-to-use approach to managing finances, billing, payments, and client engagement. FreshBooks, known for its 10x Stevie award winning customer support, serves customers of all sizes from offices in Canada, Croatia, Mexico, Netherlands, and US. 

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