BC small business optimism continues to grow in May

Province’s entrepreneurs now most confident in the country


ACCORDING to the latest monthly Business Barometer survey results from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), BC’s small business optimism rose 2.3 points in May to 69.4.

The gain in May helped BC continue its climb up the provincial rankings, with BC entrepreneurs now ranking as the most confident in the country, 1.2 points above second-place Ontario (68.2). BC’s lead over the national index (66) also increased to 3.4 points, with the business confidence index back to where it was to end last year.

Measured on a scale between 0 and 100, an index level above 50 means owners expecting their business’ performance to be stronger in the next year outnumber those expecting weaker performance. An index level of between 65 and 75 means the economy is growing at its potential.

“It is encouraging to see BC back on top. The past couple of months have shown a strong upward trend, with more entrepreneurs expecting to grow their business,” said Richard Truscott, Vice-President, BC and Alberta. “Although business owners remain confident about the future, in BC’s uncertain political landscape, it is critical all political parties work together to support the small business community and keep the economy growing.”

Overall hiring intentions were up in May. Twenty-eight per cent of small business owners plan to increase full-time staff in the next three months, up five points from April.  In contrast, eight percent are looking to cut back, a two point increase over the month before.

Forty-nine per cent of entrepreneurs in May believe the general state of health of their business is good, the same as the previous month. That compares to just seven per cent of BC business owners who describe their business’ health as poor, also the same level as April.

The national Business Barometer index in May was 66, up 1.96 points from April. The provincial numbers were: BC (69.4), Ontario (68.2), PEI (67.9), Manitoba (66.4), Quebec (65.0), Nova Scotia (64.4), Alberta (61.9), New Brunswick (60.2), Saskatchewan (49.1) and Newfoundland (45.3).

The May 2017 findings are based on 653 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflects responses received through to May 16. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.8 per cent 19 times in 20.