Business Barometer®: Small business optimism growing at a healthy rate

Small business optimism kick-starts the New Year with an increase. Province remains second most confident in the country

VANCOUVER, January 25, 2018 – The latest monthly Business Barometer survey results from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) reveal British Columbia’s small business optimism increased 2.4 points in January to 66.7. 

The January results continue BC’s climb up the provincial rankings. BC business optimism remains the second highest in the country, holding a 3.9 point lead over the national index (62.7) 

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.

“Small business confidence in British Columbia has reached a healthy level and is now growing at its potential,” said Aaron Aerts, Western Economist. “Entrepreneurial confidence has started the New Year on a positive note. As we approach February, we hope to see a provincial budget that continues to promote a small business friendly environment.” 

To view the full report, please visit 

BC hiring intentions are up for January. Twenty-seven per cent of small business owners plan to increase full-time staff in the next three months, up two points from December. In contrast, eight per cent are looking to cut back, a one point increase from last month. 

Fifty-three per cent of entrepreneurs believe the general state of health of their business is good, representing a 3 point increase from December. This compares to nine per cent of BC business owners who describe their business’ health as poor, which has remained at the same level for three months.

The national Business Barometer index in January was 62.7, up 3.0 points from December. The provincial numbers were: Quebec (71.3), BC (66.7), Nova Scotia (63.9), Manitoba (61.6), Alberta (59.4), Ontario (58.7), New Brunswick (56.9), Saskatchewan (53.6), PEI (52.3), and Newfoundland (51.8).  The January 2018 findings are based on 840 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflects responses received through to January 20. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.4 per cent 19 times in 20.

To arrange an interview with Aaron Aerts about the BC results, please call 604-684-5325 or email after 8:30 AM PST. To interview Chief Economist, Ted Mallett, about the national results, please call 416-222-8022. 

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.