British Columbia small business owners have maintained a steady optimism which translated into a 64.9 Business Barometer Index for July, according to a report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). Short-term full-time hiring plans are more positive than usual with 25 per cent of respondents expecting to add staff and only seven per cent looking to trim down. Tax and regulatory costs remain the top constraint on businesses with 67 per cent being concerned over it—the highest level in the country.
“B.C. is holding steady with no change from June in small business confidence,” says Mike Klassen, CFIB director of provincial affairs, British Columbia. “The concern over B.C.’s tax competitiveness supports our view that making the PST a more business-friendly tax can really help our economy.”
Nationally, in a big turnaround from a downbeat June, small business confidence rose sharply in July. CFIB’s Business Barometer® Index, currently at 64.2, rose almost five points this month, making up almost all the ground lost in the previous four months.
“Canada’s small and mid-size business owners are considerably more optimistic than they were just a month ago, and the current index reading is the best since February,” said Ted Mallett, CFIB’s vice-president and chief economist.
While Ontario was the centre of the weaker sentiment in June, it was also the source of the big improvement in July. At 66.5, Ontario’s index is now above the national average and on par with Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador. Improvements were also seen for July in Saskatchewan–again the most upbeat place of business–and Nova Scotia.
To see the national, provincial and industry sector reports, visit http://cfib.ca/barometer