For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Mar. 29, 2023

VANCOUVER, B.C. — Inflation tops the list of expected obstacles for businesses in Metro Vancouver for the next quarter, according to new data from the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade and the Business Data Lab at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. 

The Canadian Survey on Business Conditions found the top five obstacles businesses in Metro Vancouver anticipate in the next three months are, rising inflation (60%), rising cost of inputs (47%), rising costs in real estate, leasing or property taxes (40%), recruiting and retaining skilled employees (38%), and rising interest rates and debt costs (38%).

Over half of businesses surveyed (56%) anticipate an increase in operating expenses in the coming quarter while more than a third (34%) of businesses expect a meaningful decline in profitability (34%) and cash reserves (26%).

“Higher interest rates are putting upward pressure on the cost of inputs, borrowing, and virtually every expense associated with owning and operating a business. With no relief in the recent provincial budget and a 10.7% property tax increase in Vancouver, many business owners will have no choice but to pass these costs along to consumers in the form of higher prices,” said Bridgitte Anderson, President and CEO of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. “All of these cost increases are making it more challenging for businesses to implement new technologies or make long-term investments. As operating expenses go up and profitability expectations go down, business owners are certainly feeling the squeeze.”

“Employers are increasing wages for new hires, paying existing employees more, and offering different kinds of training and benefits incentives to recruit and retain talent. Attracting employees with the technical skills to help their business thrive continues to be a huge challenge for business owners,” Anderson concluded.

Key Findings

Expected obstacles in the next three months

  • Rising inflation (60%)
  • Rising cost of inputs (47%)
  • Rising costs in real estate, leasing or property taxes (40%)
  • Recruiting and retaining skilled employees (38%)
  • Rising interest rates and debt costs (38%)

Anticipated changes in the business environment in the next three months

  • Operating expense increase (56%)
  • Raising prices (35%)
  • Operating income decrease (20%)
  • Profitability decrease (34%)
  • Cash reserves decrease (26%)


About the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions and Report

The Canadian Survey on Business Conditions (CSBC) was created in the spring of 2020 by Statistics Canada in partnership with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce to provide timely, relevant data on business conditions in Canada, as well as business expectations and views on emerging issues. The data is used by governments, chambers of commerce, industry associations and researchers to monitor evolving business conditions and devise policies to support Canadian business. The 2023 Q1 CSBC was collected from January 3 to February 6, 2023. The survey was conducted by Statistics Canada via electronic questionnaire, using a stratified random sample of establishments with employees. The 2023 Q1 CSBC survey results for Metro Vancouver are based on responses from 729 employers.

The Canadian Survey on Business Conditions Report (CSBCR) presents in-depth quarterly analysis of the CSBC conducted by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Business Data Lab. The Business Data Lab collaborates with the Canadian Chamber’s network of boards of trade and chambers of commerce to distribute and amplify CSBC insights to the local level.

About the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade:

Since its inception in 1887, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade has been recognized as Western Canada's leading business association, engaging our members to inform public policy at all levels of government and empowering them to succeed and prosper in the global economy. With a Membership whose employees comprise one-third of B.C.'s workforce, we are the largest business association between Victoria and Toronto. We leverage this collective strength, facilitating networking opportunities, and providing professional development through unique programs. In addition, we operate one of the largest events platforms in the country, providing a stage for national and international thought leaders to enlighten B.C.'s business leaders.

Media contact:

Victor Young
Communications Manager
Greater Vancouver Board of Trade 604-640-5450 ||

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