Small business confidence takes a slight dip in November

The confidence level of small and medium-sized businesses in Alberta slipped slightly in November, according to a recent survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

The confidence level of small and medium-sized businesses in Alberta slipped slightly in November, according to a recent survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

The national business advocacy group calculated the confidence index of its Alberta members this month at 73.6 on a 100-point scale. In October the number was 74.6 — the highest that the province’s index had been in 2 1/2 years.

“Small business confidence settled back a bit in November, but still registered some of the best results of the year, with Alberta still being one of the most positive operating environments in the country,” said Richard Truscott, Alberta director for the CFIB.

Fifty-five per cent of survey respondents described the general health of their business as “good,” which was five percentage points higher than in October.

Conversely, nine per cent characterized their business’s health as “bad,” which was one point higher than the previous month.

Truscott said labour shortages and rising wage costs continue to be the “Achilles heel” of Alberta businesses. The CFIB survey found that 53 per cent of business owners consider shortages of skilled labour their most significant limitation on sales and production. That was one point higher than in October.

Other major limiting factors identified were management skills and time constraints (39 per cent) and shortages of workers for lower-skilled positions (35 per cent).

When it comes to the biggest cost constraints facing their business, 61 per cent of the respondents pointed to wage costs.

That was 14 points higher than any other issue.

The November survey indicated that 31 per cent of the business owners questioned planned to add full-time staff over the next three months, down one point from October.

Nine per cent expected a reduction in staff, up one point.

The national business confidence level was measured at 65.9 in November, down 1.9 points from the previous month. British Columbia had the highest provincial score, at 73.9, followed by Alberta, Newfoundland (67.7), Ontario (65.7), Saskatchewan (63.4), Manitoba (63.8), New Brunswick (61.9), Nova Scotia (59.9), Prince Edward Island (59.0) and Quebec (58.9).

The CFIB’s November survey results were based on 982 responses.

The federation says an index level between 65 and 75 means the economy is growing at its potential.

Just Posted

Women’s marches underway in Canadian cities, a year after Trump inauguration

Women are gathering in dozens of communities across the country today to… Continue reading

Red Deer councillor balks at city getting stuck with more funding responsibilities

Volunteer Central seeks municipal funding after being cut off by government

Olds chicken barn burns to the ground, no livestock harmed

More than 100,000 chickens were saved as fire crews prevent the blaze from spreading

Bear video meant to promote conservation: zoo owner

Discovery Wildlife Park says it will look at other ways to promote its conservation message

WATCH: Setters Place grand opening in Red Deer

Red Deer’s Setters Place officially opened to the public Saturday afternoon.… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month