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BC small business optimism continues rebound in April

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BC entrepreneurs second most confident in the country

VANCOUVER, April 27, 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 2.2 points in April to 67.1. 

The gain in April helped BC continue its climb up the provincial rankings. BC entrepreneurs now rank the second most confident in the country, 1.6 points behind top ranked Ontario (68.7). BC’s lead over the national index also increased, now at 2.7 points (64.4). However, despite the positive reading, the index remains below where it was to end the year in 2016 (69.5).

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 some BC entrepreneurs started the year off with a more pessimistic outlook, it is encouraging to see more entrepreneurs now expecting their business to strengthen,” said Aaron Aerts, BC economist. “The same can be said for most provinces across the country. Minus a few outliers, the overall national index has strengthened and now sits at a fairly healthy level.”

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

Overall hiring intentions are up in April. Twenty-three per cent of small business owners plan to increase full-time staff in the next three months, up four points from March.  In contrast, only six per cent are looking to cut back, the same as in March.

Forty-nine per cent of entrepreneurs in April believe the general state of health of their business is good, the same as in March. That compares to just seven per cent of BC business owners who describe their business’ health as poor, down a point from last month.

The national Business Barometer April index was 64.4, up 1.5 points from March. The provincial numbers were: Ontario (68.7), BC (67.1), Nova Scotia (66.3), Quebec (65.7), Manitoba (63.5), New Brunswick (63.5), PEI (60.3), Alberta (57.9), Saskatchewan (55.1) and Newfoundland (43.8).

The April 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 April 16. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.8 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.