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BC Small Business Confidence Rebounds in March

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BC entrepreneurs fourth most optimistic in the country

VANCOUVER, March 30, 2017 – According to the latest monthly Business Barometer survey results from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), BC’s small business optimism was up 1.2 points in March to 64.9. 

The gain in BC small business confidence is the first uptick in 2017. However, the index remains above where it was the same month last year (62.5). The gain in March helped BC climb up the provincial rankings, with its entrepreneurs now the fourth most confident in the country and just one point behind the top ranked Nova Scotia (65.9). BC’s lead over the national index also increased to 2.0 points (62.9).

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.

“After a couple of shaky months to start the year, British Columbia’s entrepreneurs are now looking to the future with a bit more confidence,” said Aaron Aerts, BC economist. “This is also reflected in their improved short-term hiring intentions, which have started to heat up after cooling off over the winter months.”

To view the full report, please visit Business Barometer

Overall hiring intentions were up in March. Nineteen per cent of small business owners plan to increase full-time staff in the next three months, up a point from February.  In contrast, only six per cent are looking to cut back, down a point from February.

Forty-nine per cent of entrepreneurs in March believe the general state of health of their business is good, the same as February. That compares to just eight per cent of BC business owners who describe their business’ health as poor, also unchanged from last month.

The national Business Barometer March index remained the same as in February (62.9). The provincial numbers were: Nova Scotia (65.9), Quebec (65.7), Ontario (65.6), BC (64.9), Manitoba (64.5), New Brunswick (63.8), PEI (58.6), Saskatchewan (56.3), Alberta (55.5) and Newfoundland (42.2).

The March 2017 findings are based on 730 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.

To arrange an interview with Aaron Aerts, BC Economist, about the BC results, please call 604-684-5325 or email [email protected].  To interview Chief Economist Ted Mallett, about the national results, please call 416-222-8022. For more information about CFIB, visit cfib.ca.

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region, including 10,000 in B.C.