CFIB Says BC August Barometer Shows More Optimism For Long-Term Recovery

August 28, 2020

Short-Term Challenges Still Weigh Heavily

BRITISH COLUMBIA – The monthly Business Barometer® index for British Columbia grew 1.7 points in August, reaching an index of 58.2 according to the latest survey results from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). The indicator, which asks entrepreneurs if they expect a stronger or weaker performance in 12-months from now, suggests business owners are slowly growing more optimistic about the future.

Muriel Protzer, Senior Policy Analyst, BC and the North

“Less customers, new costs, and reduced capacity have put small businesses in a tough situation during the pandemic. August’s barometer results suggest business owners are hopeful things will improve next year. This speaks to the resilience of entrepreneurs in British Columbia,” says Muriel Protzer, Senior Policy Analyst, BC and the North.

A closer look at short-term data shows a difficult path to recovery. Only 19 per cent of business owners expect performance to improve over the next 3 months. Additionally, 40 per cent expect it to stay the same and 41 per cent expect it to decrease. Significant uncertainty lies ahead as British Columbia continues to navigate the new normal.

Hiring intentions are also down in August. Just 12 per cent of employers expect to hire full-time positions in the next 3 months. This represents a 2-point drop from last month, and a 10-point drop from August, 2019 results.

“It is important to remind ourselves that business is not as usual. A handful of deferred provincial taxes are coming due end of September, and entrepreneurs are in no state to take the financial hit. Business owners need flexibility to keep their feet on the path of recovery, and it is vital the province take notice and action now,” adds Protzer.

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.

To view the full report, please visit  

The provincial numbers for August were: Nova Scotia (68.0), Alberta (64.3), Ontario (63.1), Saskatchewan (62.9), Newfoundland (690.6), Manitoba (59.3), BC (58.2), New Brunswick (56.5), PEI (47.9), and Quebec (43.9).

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