March Shows Increase in Small Business Confidence
Prince George, B.C. – For the first time this year, B.C.’s small business optimism is up.
According to the latest monthly Business Barometer survey results from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), BC’s small business optimism increased by 1.2 points in March to 64.9.
While there has been an increase over January and February, the index for March is also higher than it was in the same month a year ago when it was 62.5.
The March index also puts B.C. in fourth place among the provinces, and ahead of the National index which is sitting at 62.9 the same as it was in February.
An index level above 50 means owners expecting their business’ performance to be stronger in the next year. An index level of between 65 and 75 means the economy is growing at its potential.
“After a couple of shaky months to start the year, British Columbia’s entrepreneurs are now looking to the future with a bit more confidence,” said Aaron Aerts, BC economist. “This is also reflected in their improved short-term hiring intentions, which have started to heat up after cooling off over the winter months.”
Overall hiring intentions were up in March. Nineteen per cent of small business owners plan to increase full-time staff in the next three months, up a point from February. In contrast, only six per cent are looking to cut back, down a point from February.
Forty-nine per cent of entrepreneurs in March believe the general state of health of their business is good, the same as February. That compares to just eight per cent of BC business owners who describe their business’ health as poor, also unchanged from last month.