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BC August Barometer shows more optimism for long-term recovery, short-term challenges still weigh heavily

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  • BC August Barometer shows more optimism for long-term recovery, short-term challenges still weigh heavily

VANCOUVER, August 27, 2020 – The monthly Business Barometer® index for British Columbia grew 1.7 points in August, reaching an index of 58.2 according to the latest survey results from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). The indicator, which asks entrepreneurs if they expect a stronger or weaker performance in 12-months from now, suggests business owners are slowly growing more optimistic about the future.  

“Less customers, new costs, and reduced capacity have put small businesses in a tough situation during the pandemic. August’s barometer results suggest business owners are hopeful things will improve next year. This speaks to the resilience of entrepreneurs in British Columbia,” says Muriel Protzer, Senior Policy Analyst, BC and the North. 

A closer look at short-term data shows a difficult path to recovery. Only 19 per cent of business owners expect performance to improve over the next 3 months. Additionally, 40 per cent expect it to stay the same and 41 per cent expect it to decrease. Significant uncertainty lies ahead as British Columbia continues to navigate the new normal.

Hiring intentions are also down in August. Just 12 per cent of employers expect to hire full-time positions in the next 3 months. This represents a 2-point drop from last month, and a 10-point drop from August, 2019 results. 

“It is important to remind ourselves that business is not as usual. A handful of deferred provincial taxes are coming due end of September, and entrepreneurs are in no state to take the financial hit. Business owners need flexibility to keep their feet on the path of recovery, and it is vital the province take notice and action now,” 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 August were: Nova Scotia (68.0), Alberta (64.3), Ontario (63.1), Saskatchewan (62.9), Newfoundland (690.6), Manitoba (59.3), BC (58.2), New Brunswick (56.5), PEI (47.9), and Quebec (43.9).  

 

Methodology - Barometer
The August findings are based on 687 responses from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received from August 4 to 17. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.7 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 [email protected] 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.