Canadian Federation of Independent Business

BC – The monthly Business Barometer® index for British Columbia fell 1.9 points in February, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). The BC small business confidence index sits at 55.4 points, placing it below the Canadian average (59) by 3.6 points. Compared to last year (February 2018), entrepreneurial confidence in BC has dropped 14.1 points.

“This year is already proving to be a challenge for local business in BC,” said Muriel Protzer, Policy Analyst, BC and Alberta. “The 2019 provincial budget shows no new meaningful measures to support local businesses. Entrepreneurs still face a mountain of cost increases as a result of last year’s budget that are just coming into play, such as the Employer Health Tax, carbon tax increases, and minimum wage hikes.”

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 that the economy is growing at its potential.

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The provincial numbers for February were: Nova Scotia (66.3), Quebec (64.8), Ontario (64.1), PEI (60.6), British Columbia (55.4), Saskatchewan (55.2), New Brunswick (54.2), Manitoba (52.6), Newfoundland & Labrador (47.7), and Alberta (40.3).

February 2019 findings are based on 829 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received through February 15. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.4 per cent 19 times in 20.