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BC on top: small business confidence now nation’s highest

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Province’s entrepreneurs’ optimism jumps in June, fourth consecutive increase

VANCOUVER, June 30, 2016 – According to the latest monthly Business Barometer survey results from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), BC’s small business optimism increased 2.2 points in June to 69.3. 

Small business confidence among BC’s entrepreneurs increased for a fourth straight month, reaching the highest level in a year. The province surpassed PEI (68.0) to be home to the most confident entrepreneurs in the country, regaining the lead for the first time since last June. However, BC’s business confidence remains below the levels seen in the first half of 2015, when the index averaged over 71.

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 year lingering in second, third or fourth place, our province’s entrepreneurs have reclaimed the bragging rights as the most confident in Canada,” notes Aaron Aerts, BC economist. “The data also shows that those looking for work should check in with their local small business. Many are looking to hire, with nearly a third indicating they plan to increase staff in the coming months.”

To view the full report, please visit Business Barometer

BC small businesses say they intend to ramp up hiring. In June, 29 per cent plan to increase full-time staff in the next three months, up 4 points since May.  In comparison, only 8 per cent are looking to cut back, down a single point from May.

Forty-nine per cent of entrepreneurs in June believe the general state of health of their business is good, a point higher than in May. That compares to 10 per cent of BC small businesses who describe their business’ health as poor, down 2 points from May.

The least optimistic province in Canada is Alberta, although entrepreneurial confidence there continues to rebound. Alberta’s index is up for the third consecutive month, gaining nearly 8 points in June to 42.5.

The national Business Barometer index increased 1.8 points in June to 60.0. The provincial numbers were: BC (69.3), PEI (68.0), New Brunswick (64.9), Quebec (61.6), Nova Scotia (61.5), Ontario (61.5), Manitoba (57.8), Saskatchewan (54.8), Newfoundland (45.8),  and Alberta (42.5).

The June 2016 findings are based on 743 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received through to June 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.  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.