Optimism rises for BC small business owners

BC entrepreneurs’ confidence grows rebounds after three months of decline

VANCOUVER, October 26, 2017 – The latest monthly Business Barometer survey results from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) reveal British Columbia’s small business optimism increased 2.0 points in October to 61.9.

The October results mark an encouraging increase in BC entrepreneurs’ optimism. Rise in confidence brought the province’s national rank up from fifth place to third, indicating a climb in relative performance. October’s increase widened BC’s lead over the national index (57.2), now at 4.7 points.

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.

“For the first time in three months, British Columbia’s small business confidence has risen,” said Aaron Aerts, BC Economist. “While October’s results are promising, the index remains below the 65 point threshold that reflects a vibrant economy. With this in mind, the new government should look at ways to support small business and avoid downloading costs onto businesses,” added Aerts.

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

BC hiring intentions were up in October. Twenty per cent of small business owners plan to increase full-time staff in the next three months, up five points from September. In contrast, eight per cent are looking to cut back, indicating a three point decrease from last month.

Fifty-three per cent of entrepreneurs believe the general state of health of their business is good, representing a 3 point gain from September. This compares to just seven per cent of BC business owners who describe their business’ health as poor, with no fluctuation from the previous month.

The national Business Barometer index in October was 57.2, up 0.3 points from September. The provincial numbers were: Quebec (67.6), Nova Scotia (62.5), British Columbia (61.9), New Brunswick (56.3), Ontario (55.5), Manitoba (55.5), Alberta (55.2), Prince Edward Island (53.6), Saskatchewan (52.7), and Newfoundland (48.3). The October 2017 findings are based on 727 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflects responses received through to October 16. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.6 per cent 19 times in 20.

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

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.