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BC small business optimism falls in July

BC entrepreneurs’ confidence falls from first to fifth in provincial rankings

VANCOUVER, July 27, 2017 – According to the latest monthly Business Barometer survey results from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), BC’s small business optimism fell 3.6 points in July to 65.9. 

After two previous months of BC entrepreneurs ranking as the most optimistic in the country, the decline in BC and increases in other provinces saw BC’s ranking fall to fifth. However, the province still maintains a sizeable lead over the national index (60.7), now sitting at 5.2.

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.

“While the decline in business confidence in July is somewhat concerning, BC entrepreneurs remain relatively optimistic,” said Aaron Aerts, BC economist. “To ensure this confidence continues, the new government should make sure it’s doing everything it can to support the small business community. We’re hearing from small businesses it’s tough to afford to operate in BC – anything to make it a bit easier will help boost their confidence.”

To view the full report, please visit Business Barometer

Overall hiring intentions were down in July. Twenty-three per cent of small business owners plan to increase full-time staff in the next three months, down six points from June.  In contrast, eight percent are looking to cut back, a one point increase over the month before.

Fifty-two per cent of entrepreneurs in July believe the general state of health of their business is good, down one point from the previous month. That compares to just five per cent of BC business owners who describe their business’ health as poor, the same as in June.

The national Business Barometer index in July was 60.3, down 0.6 points from June. The provincial numbers were: PEI (73.8), Manitoba (68.9), Quebec (68.9), Nova Scotia (66.9), BC (65.8), New Brunswick (63.9), Ontario (59.5), Alberta (57.3), Newfoundland (51.8) and Saskatchewan (50.0).

The July 2017 findings are based on 710 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflects responses received through to July 18. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.7 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] after 8:30 AM PST.  To interview Chief Economist, Ted Mallett, about the national results, please call 416-222-8022. For more information, visit

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.

July 27, 2017

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