CFIB Predicts BC’s Strong Economy to Continue
Prince George, B.C.- While predicting a good new year for small business in B.C., Richard Truscott, the Vice President for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business in B.C., says it won’t be easy for small business.
“I see the trend that B.C.’s economy is going to continue to perform relatively well, especially compared to the rest of the country and of course to our neighbours to the east in Alberta who are in dismal shape” says Truscott “The flip side of that however is it is making it more difficult for small businesses to find people”. He says the problem is “most acute” when one looks at the smallest of small firms. “Those are the ones that don’t have the resources, the time or the expertise, to find people. The problem is the worst in the northern area of the province. Those are the areas where there’s not enough people in the local community to fill all of the positions that are available, and I think that job market is going to become even more chronic in 2017. That’s something government’s need to focus time, attention and resources to dealing with.”
Truscott says the key is job training and skills development combined with connecting those folks with smaller businesses “A lot of people have the illusion that they need to work for a big business or government or a big organization, when there are lots of jobs in smaller businesses that may not pay as well right off the hop, but they are really good opportunities, they’re flexible work environments and they may lead to something else and will provide those individuals with really good experience. So, people need to think small and look for the opportunities in small business.
Truscott says the push for a $15 dollar an hour wage hike is neither helpful nor a hindrance “I think it’s a mirage. It may let people feel they are helping individuals in those lower wage occupations, but really, employers respond by cutting back on the number of hours , reducing training, by not making investments inside the business, so there are common adjustments that will be made. In the end, a lot of individuals will be no better off. I think the focus needs to be on skills development and training and giving people those tools to find those better paying jobs.”