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Alberta small business optimism remains flat in March

Provincial budget was a missed opportunity to boost business conditions

CALGARY, March 29, 2018 – The latest monthly Business Barometer survey results from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) reveal Alberta’s small business optimism sits at 56.3, unchanged from the previous month.  Alberta confidence levels continues to lag behind the Canadian index (60.7) by 4.4 points.

“Alberta's small business optimism remains stuck in neutral,” said Amber Ruddy, Director of Provincial Affairs for Alberta.  “Instead of focusing on the needs of small business owners, the Alberta government opted to take on massive amounts of debt and doubled down on carbon taxes, minimum wage hikes, and costly labour policies.”

Full-time staffing intentions remained weak but slightly better than in previous months, with about 18 per cent looking to cut back on staffing while 15 per cent looking to hire.

Twenty-four per cent of entrepreneurs believe the general state of health of their business is good, no change from February.  This compares to twenty-one per cent of Alberta business owners who describe their business’ health as poor, up two points from the previous month.

The other provincial numbers were: Nova Scotia (75.0), Quebec (72.6), PEI (66.0), British Columbia (65.9), New Brunswick (62.5), Saskatchewan (62.0), Manitoba (61.2), Ontario (57.1), and Newfoundland (52.7).  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.

The March 2018 findings are based on 754 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey.  Data reflects responses received through to March 20.  Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.6 per cent 19 times in 20.

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:

Amber Ruddy, Alberta Director at 866-444-9290 or [email protected].  To arrange an interview with Ted Mallett, Chief Economist, about the national results, contact Kiara Morrissey at 647-464-2814 or [email protected].


About CFIB
CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members across every sector and region. Learn more at


March 29, 2018

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