BC kicks off 2020 with rise in small business optimism

VANCOUVER, January 30, 2020 – The monthly Business Barometer® index for British Columbia grew 1.2 points reaching an index of 56.4 in January, according to the latest survey results from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). The BC small business confidence index now sits 1.1 points above the Canadian average (55.3), the first time in over a year. 

Taxes and regulatory costs lead as the most difficult input cost facing independent businesses, reflecting the burden felt from rising property taxes and the provincial employer health tax. Compared to last year, concern is up 2.2 points with 67.9 per cent of SMEs identifying it as a difficulty. 

“While it is positive to see BC surpass the Canadian average, it is largely due to low confidence in other provinces like Alberta. At an index of 56.4, entrepreneurial confidence still sits below the 65 point threshold indicating strong economic growth,” says Muriel Protzer, Senior Policy Analyst, BC and the North. “With the province’s 2020 budget on the horizon this coming February, relief for small business is especially needed as they face rising costs over the coming year” adds Protzer.

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 that the economy is growing at its potential. 

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

The provincial numbers for January were: PEI (65.3), Quebec (63.5), Ontario (59.9), Nova Scotia (59.5), New Brunswick (59.4), Manitoba (57.4), BC (56.4), Newfoundland (48.6), Saskatchewan (42.7), and Alberta (37.0).  

January 2020 findings are based on 864 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received from January 6th to the 20th. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.3 per cent 19 times in 20.

To arrange an interview with Muriel Protzer, Policy Analyst, about the BC results, please call 604-684-5325 or email msbc@cfib.ca after 8:30 AM PT. To interview Chief Economist, Ted Mallett, about the national results, please call 416-222-8022. For more information, visit cfib.ca.

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members across every industry 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 cfib.ca.