Alberta entrepreneurs least confident in the country, CFIB

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by Morinville News Staff

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business’ (CFIB) latest monthly Business Barometer survey results indicate Alberta’s small business optimism dropped 3.1 points in February to 56.3, moving the province’s national rank to the last place. Alberta trails behind the national index of 62.4 by 6.1 points.

The report shows 24 per cent of Alberta entrepreneurs believe the general state of health of their business is good, representing a one-point loss from January. Another 19 per cent of Alberta business owners described their business’ health as poor, unchanged from the previous month.

“Small business optimism edged downward in February with only about a quarter of business owners describing their operations in good shape. With interprovincial trade wars and unnecessary delays on major pipelines projects, it is no surprise that small business confidence has stumbled,” said Amber Ruddy, Director of Provincial Affairs for Alberta.

The CFIB report shows that plans to hire new employees is down in February compared to the previous month with only 11 per cent of small business owners planning to increase full-time staff in the next three months. That number is down two points from January. Another 17 per cent are looking to cut back.

“CFIB hopes that there are positive measures in the upcoming provincial budget to inspire confidence among our provinces entrepreneurs,” Ruddy said. “Balancing the budget, making the carbon tax revenue neutral, and thinking through policies from a small business lens are top priorities.”

The national Business Barometer index in January was 62.4, down 0.5 points from January. The other provincial numbers were: Quebec (73.9), Nova Scotia (72.0), British Columbia (69.5), PEI (65.0), Manitoba (63.2), New Brunswick (59.1), Ontario (59.0), Saskatchewan (56.8), and Newfoundland (56.5).

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