BC entrepreneurs remain the second most optimistic in the country despite a decline of just over a point in November.
The provincial rating now stands at 60.8 just below Quebec at 65.4.
However, when you break down the optimism by region, the optimism results vary greatly, especially in the north.
“Definitely we hear from entrepreneurs in the about the shortage of labour, about to the difficulties they find in securing qualified people to work inside their business and they do have to invest more in training people and finding people that certainly is one the major issue, the other is the uncertainty that we’ve seen in the last few years in the resource-based industries and that has a trickle-down effect to a lot of the small business,” says Richard Truscott, Canadian Federation of Independent Business BC Vice-President.
In most cases, it simply comes down to population numbers when trying to find the necessary workers.
“A lot of the regions in the north have not seen a significant population increase and in some cases, have seen some serious declines and that absolutely reduces the pool of qualified people to work in the small business of course. A lot of individuals are looking for jobs in bigger business or maybe they’re looking for jobs in government.”
According to the report, hiring intentions in the province were up in November as 21% percent of small business owners planned to increase full-time staff within the next three months while only seven percent were looking to cut back.
About 50% of business owners believed the general state of their business is good compared to only nine percent of entrepreneurs who say the health of their business is bad.
Truscott believes confidence could climb even further thanks to a government announcement this week with the Red Cross of BC where phase two of the wildfire funding where business can receive up to $18,500 that can be put towards clean-up and restoration.
“The assistance is certainly welcome as it’s going to help and will support the confidence levels of some entrepreneurs who have been directly or indirectly affected by the wildfires and anything the government can do in that front to support entrepreneurs, to support small businesses is definitely welcome.”
Applications for the program will be accepted until next April and business owners will receive the money within 15 business days.