BC small business confidence hits light turbulence in January

VANCOUVER, January 31, 2019 – The monthly Business Barometer® index for British Columbia slipped 2.8 points this January, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). The BC small business confidence index landed at 57.3 points, sitting above the Canadian average (56.1) by 1.2 points. 

 “Local business owners are being burdened with big new taxes and paperwork this year, particularly the Employer Health Tax and the Speculation Tax,” said Muriel Protzer, Policy Analyst, BC and Alberta. “This includes deciphering the limited amount of government information that is currently available on how to apply, comply with, and pay for the new taxes. With red tape riddled policies on the horizon, small business concerns are growing as they approach,” added Protzer.

This January, the proportion of entrepreneurs describing the state of their business as ‘good’ fell to 43 per cent (down 1 point). This compares to 46 per cent who describe it as ‘satisfactory’ (no change from the previous month), and 11 per cent who describe it as ‘bad’ (up 1 point). 

Taxes and regulatory costs are continuing to prove to be the biggest operating challenges small businesses face this year, with 66 per cent pinning it as the most difficult input cost. 

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.

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

The provincial numbers for January were: PEI (63.5), Quebec (63.5), Nova Scotia (63.1), New Brunswick (61.3), Ontario (60.4), British Columbia (57.3), Manitoba (56.3), Saskatchewan (55.2), Newfoundland & Labrador (47.9), and Alberta (37.5). 

January 2019 findings are based on 930 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received through January 20. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.2 per cent 19 times in 20.

To arrange an interview with Muriel Protzer 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.