B.C. leads country in small business optimism for third straight month


ACCORDING to the latest monthly Business Barometer survey results from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), entrepreneurs in British Columbia are the most confident in Canada for the third month in a row.

The Business Barometer index in B.C. dropped 1.4 points in July to 72.3, but still leads all provinces, and remains more than nine points higher than the national index of 63.2, the lowest Canada-wide confidence level registered since last December.

“B.C. continues to lead the country in small business confidence. But the good news doesn’t stop there.  A deeper dive into the survey results also shows hiring intentions remain strong, and entrepreneurs continue to hold a positive view of the general state of business in the province”, states CFIB Provincial Director, Richard Truscott.

Entrepreneurs in British Columbia (72.3) are once again the most confident in the country about the economy and the future prospects for their business, followed by Newfoundland (72.2), Alberta (69.4), Manitoba (64.7), Saskatchewan (63.5), New Brunswick (61.7), Ontario (60.9), Quebec (60.5), Nova Scotia (59.6). and PEI (59.5).

Short-term hiring plans slipped three points in July, largely due to the coming end of the usual summer hiring seasons, with 24 per cent of entrepreneurs said they were planning to add full-time staff in the next three months, compared to only six per cent expecting a decline.

Also, 41 per cent of B.C. entrepreneurs in July described the general state of their business as ‘good’, up one point over June, while just 9 per cent said it was ‘bad’, down two points from the previous month.

In terms of the main business challenges in B.C., 36 per cent of business owners surveyed identifying a shortage of skilled labour as their limiting sales or production growth, while 34 per cent said it was insufficient domestic demand.