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November brings small increase in optimism for Alberta entrepreneurs

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After October drop-off, slight rebound in November

CALGARY, November 30, 2017 – The latest monthly Business Barometer survey results from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) reveal Alberta’s small business optimism increased 1 point in November to 56.2. Alberta’s position relative to the national index worsened, as it now sits 3.1 points behind (59.3).

“On the whole, these latest results are a small step in the right direction,” said Amber Ruddy, Director of Provincial Affairs for Alberta. “While the November results are encouraging, Alberta remains significantly below the threshold for a healthy and growing economy. There is much more work to be done by the Alberta government to show support for Alberta’s struggling small business community.”

Three-quarters (73 per cent) of Alberta business owners are concerned about tax and regulatory costs. “With new onerous labour laws coming into effect January 1st, there must be other areas the government can trim back,” added Ruddy.

Alberta hiring intentions were mixed in November. Twelve per cent of small business owners plan to increase full-time staff in the next three months, down three points from October. In contrast, nineteen per cent are looking to cut back, also a three point decrease from last month.

Twenty-six per cent of entrepreneurs believe the general state of health of their business is good, representing a two point gain from October. This compares to 21 per cent of Alberta business owners who describe their business health as poor, down one point from the previous month.

The national Business Barometer index in November was 59.3, up 2.2 points from November. The provincial numbers were: Quebec (65.4), BC (60.8), Nova Scotia (59.9), Ontario (58.3), PEI (55.8), Manitoba (55.3), Saskatchewan (52.3), New Brunswick (51.4), and Newfoundland (49.0). The November 2017 findings are based on 698 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflects responses received through to November 20. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.7 per cent 19 times in 20.

Measured on a scale between 0 and 100, an index level above 50 means entrepreneurs are 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.

To speak with Amber Ruddy, Alberta Director, please contact [email protected] or 403-444-9290. To arrange an interview with Ted Mallett, Chief Economist, about the national results, please contact Andy Radia at 647-464-2814 or [email protected].

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 Alberta.