Small business owners more optimistic than last year

Hiring, training employees among investment plans: Survey
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 10/08/2013

Business owners across Canada are more optimistic about thefuture than this time last year, according to the BMO Small BusinessConfidence Report.

A majority (62 per cent) said they expect 2014 will be abetter year than 2013, and 55 per cent expect their business will grow. Only sixper cent expect their business to shrink, found the survey of 301 employers.

The report produces an index score that measures the levelof confidence small business owners have in the economy based on indicatorssuch as how they feel their business is performing. The economic outlook scorewas 70 in the latest survey — up from 63 last fall and 59 this spring.

Business confidenceindex score

 

Overall

Atlantic

Quebec

Ontario

Alberta

B.C.

Fall 2013

70%

68%

70%

70%

73%

74%

Fall 2012

63%

65%

61%

63%

66%

61%

"Business owners in Canada are in good health and aremore optimistic than before," said Steve Murphy, senior vice-president ofcommercial banking at BMO Bank of Montreal. "Particularly noteworthy isthe fact that the outlook for business next year is consistent across thecountry."

The majority of business owners in all parts of the countryshare this positive outlook, with those in British Columbia and Ontariorecording the highest score.

Outlook to 2014

 

Overall

Atlantic

Quebec

Ontario

Alberta

B.C.

Better for business

62%

59%

60%

65%

58%

66%

Worse for business

10%

16%

8%

11%

6%

6%

The number of businesses that expect their company to grownext year is nearly 10 times that of those who expect to see their companyshrink.

Prospects for growth in 2014

 

Overall

Atlantic

Quebec

Ontario

Alberta

B.C.

Business to grow

55%

55%

58%

51%

60%

58%

Business to shrink

6%

6%

4%

8%

6%

1%

"An improving U.S. and global economic backdrop isexpected to provide a lift to Canadian businesses and the economy as a whole,”said Benjamin Reitzes, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets.

One-third of the employers surveyed plan to invest in theirbusiness. Upgrading equipment represents the most common type of investment (76per cent), followed by:

• hiring more employees (46 per cent)

• upgrading technology and systems (45 per cent)

• training employees (45 per cent)

• lowering overhead costs by transitioning to a mobileworkforce (16 per cent).

 Investing in 2014

 

Overall

Atlatnic

Quebec

Ontario

Alberta

B.C.

Invest more

31%

31%

24%

33%

40%

36%

Invest less

12%

16%

12%

13%

8%

8%

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