BC small business confidence rebounds following 6 month decline

VANCOUVER, June 27, 2019 – The monthly Business Barometer® index for British Columbia showed a marginal 0.7 point increase in June, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). The slight improvement means the BC small business confidence index sits at 53.8 points, placing it below the Canadian average (61.5) by 7.7 points. 

“After half a year of steady decline, this month’s slight uptick in small business confidence may signal that the downward slide in BC’s index has come to an end,” says Muriel Protzer, Policy Analyst, BC and Alberta. “That being said, small business optimism continues to register below the indicator of a healthy, growing economy. Evidently, small business need to see meaningful progress on detrimental provincial government taxes and regulatory policies that are causing them stress and worry,” adds Protzer.

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 that the economy is growing at its potential.

This June, 20 per cent of business owners expect their full-time staffing levels to go up, 70 per cent expect it to remain the same, and 10 per cent expect it to decrease. 

“As we kick off the summer, small business hiring intentions in British Columbia aren’t very strong,” said Protzer. “Nearly half of local business owners say they are facing a shortage of skilled labour. Businesses who may want to hire are challenged to find skilful employees, which may be impacting their hiring projections,” said Protzer. 

To view the full report, please visit http://www.cfib.ca/barometer  

The provincial numbers for June were: PEI (68.4), Quebec (67.6), Nova Scotia (63.9), Ontario (62.6), Alberta (59.0), New Brunswick (57.2), Manitoba (55.4), Saskatchewan (54.5), British Columbia (53.8), and Newfoundland & Labrador (50.0).

June 2019 findings are based on 711 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received through June 17. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.7 per cent 19 times in 20.

To arrange an interview with Muriel Protzer, CFIB Policy Analyst, about the BC results, please call 604-684-5325 or email msbc@cfib.ca after 8:30 AM PT. To interview Chief Economist, Ted Mallett, about the national results, please call 416-222-8022. For more information, visit cfib.ca.

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members across every industry and region. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at cfib.ca.