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

Regina, 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 Saskatchewan improved again in June to an index of 59.1, up from 51.9 at the end of May. The index is now 4.5 points above the national average index of 54.6.

“While it is encouraging to see Saskatchewan’s small business optimism improve again in June to 59.1, we know many businesses still face severe operating challenges and a long road to recovery,” said Marilyn Braun-Pollon, CFIB’s Vice-President, Western Canada and Agri-Business. “Only 20 per cent of Saskatchewan entrepreneurs say their current state of business is in good shape, while 36 per cent say their business is in bad shape, and just 8 per cent of business owners are planning to hire full-time staff in the next three months, while 32 per cent foresee cuts.”

“We also know many businesses are still struggling to pay their bills. This tells us that we have a long, long way to go before small firms are out of the woods,” added Braun-Pollon. “That’s why CFIB launched the #SmallBusinessEveryDay campaign last week, which is designed to encourage shopping local to help small businesses recover in the weeks ahead.”

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 Saskatchewan Business Barometer for June:

  • 20% of businesses in Saskatchewan say their overall state of business is good (19% nationally); 36% say it is bad (39% nationally);
  • 8% plan to increase employment in the next 3 months (14% nationally) and 32% of Saskatchewan businesses plan to decrease full-time employment (33% nationally); and
  • Saskatchewan businesses’ average capacity utilization is at 60.5% of full capacity (up 3.3% 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 performance. 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 Marilyn Braun-Pollon, Vice-President, Western Canada & Agri-business on the provincial results please call 306-539-6302 or email You may follow CFIB Saskatchewan on Twitter @cfibsk.

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 (5,250 in Saskatchewan) 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