CFIB News Release: Manitoba small business optimism cautiously improves in June

Winnipeg, June 29, 2020 – Today, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) released its latest monthly Business Barometer®, which reveals optimism among small business owners in Manitoba improved in June to an index of 55.3, up from 50.0 at the end of May. The index is now slightly above the national average index of 54.6.

“It is encouraging to see both Manitoba’s small business optimism index and average capacity utilization improve in June,” said Jonathan Alward, CFIB’s director, prairie region. “However, more businesses are still planning layoffs (29%) over the next three months than are looking to hire (17%). It is clear that many businesses still face severe operating challenges and a long road to recovery.”

National small business confidence rose slightly in June to 54.6 points - two points higher than May’s reading but still well below historical norms.

“Despite more of the economy reopening, challenging operating conditions are preventing small businesses from being reliably profitable and sentiment is only cautiously improving,” said Ted Mallett, CFIB’s vice-president and chief economist. “Businesses are operating at only 58 per cent of capacity on average, and many fear future COVID-19 outbreaks could renew closures and interruptions.”

Provincial results: Prince Edward Island rebounds, Quebec still trails the rest of Canada

Nova Scotia had the highest optimism level in the country (62.3), followed by Prince Edward Island (60.9). Quebec had the lowest optimism level (38.1) followed by New Brunswick (46.6). British Columbia (53.6) and Ontario (54.0) posted results near the national average, while Manitoba (55.3), Alberta (55.7), Newfoundland and Labrador (58.3) and Saskatchewan (59.1) modestly exceeded it.

Highlights of the Manitoba Business Barometer for June:

  • 29% of businesses in Manitoba say their overall state of business is good (19% nationally); 30% say it is bad (39% nationally);
  • 17% plan to increase employment in the next 3 months (14% nationally) and 29% of Manitoba businesses plan to decrease full-time employment (33% nationally);
  • Manitoba businesses’ average capacity utilization is at 69.0% of full capacity (up 5.3% from the end of May)

Read the June Business Barometer®.

Measured on a scale of 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 perform. One normally sees an index level of between 65 and 70 when the economy is growing at its potential. The June findings are based on 919 responses from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received from June 2 to 15. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.2 per cent 19 times in 20.

To arrange an interview with Jonathan Alward, CFIB’s director, prairie region on the provincial results, please call 431-998-4498 or email You can also follow CFIB Manitoba on Twitter @cfibMB.

To arrange an interview with Ted Mallett, CFIB’s vice-president and chief economist on the national results please contact Milena Stanoeva at 647-464-2814 or

About CFIB
CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members (4,800 in Manitoba) across every sector 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