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Newfoundland and Labrador small business confidence showed growing trend in 2015

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St. John’s, January 4, 2016 – According to the latest Business Barometer survey results released by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), small business confidence in Newfoundland and Labrador has increased to 64.8 in December. The Business Barometer showed a trend of growing confidence in 2015. 

“Many small business owners in Newfoundland and Labrador have adjusted to the oil price shock of late 2014 and early 2015,” says Vaughn Hammond, Director of Provincial Affairs in Newfoundland and Labrador for CFIB. “The trend of growing confidence is encouraging, but small business owners throughout the province will be paying particular attention to how the provincial government plans to address a $2-billion deficit.” 

Entrepreneurs’ hiring intentions have changed, with nine per cent of respondents planning to add full-time staff and the same number expecting to cut staff. This is consistent with the trends of the last couple of years. 

In terms of their view about the general state of the economy, 49 per cent of entrepreneurs characterized it as “good” in December, while no respondents described it as “bad”. 

Shortage of skilled labour was identified by 33 per cent of respondents as the biggest challenge for small business in Newfoundland and Labrador. Fifty-three per cent consider tax and regulatory costs to be the largest cost constraint. 

The national Business Barometer Index decreased in December (55.7) compared to November (58.7).  Across Canada, entrepreneurs in Nova Scotia (71.0) were the most optimistic about the economy and the future prospects for their business, followed by Manitoba (66.4), British Columbia (65.9), Newfoundland and Labrador (64.8), New Brunswick (61.8), Prince Edward Island (61.1), Ontario (59.9), Quebec (59.6), Saskatchewan (56.3), and Alberta (33.1). 

More details about the Business Barometer are available at www.cfib.ca.  To arrange an interview with Chief Economist, Ted Mallett, about the national results, please call 1-416-222-8022.  To speak with Vaughn Hammond, please call 753-7745.

About the Business Barometer: Measured on a scale of 0 and 100, an index level above 50 means owners expecting their businesses’ performance to be stronger in the next year outnumber those expecting weaker performance.  According to past results, index levels normally range between 65 and 75 when the economy is growing at its potential. December 2015 findings are based on 759 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received through December 14. Findings are considered accurate to +/- 3.6 per cent 19 times in 20. 

About CFIB: As Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses, CFIB is Powered by Entrepreneurs™.  Established in 1971, CFIB takes direction from more than 109,000 members in every sector nationwide, including 2,000 in Newfoundland and Labrador, giving independent business a strong and influential voice at all levels of government and helping to grow the economy.