For Immediate Release
Thursday, June 22, 2023
VANCOUVER, B.C. — New data from the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions for Metro Vancouver shows financial pressures are preventing many businesses from accessing the funds they need to grow and scale operations.
The number of businesses that cited uncertainty in future sales as the reason they cannot take on more debt more than doubled (42%) since the previous quarter (17%). The survey also found that the number of businesses in a position to take on more debt dropped significantly (-8%) over the previous quarter. These financial pressures come on the heels of the recent ‘Counting the Costs’ report released by the Board of Trade that highlighted nearly $6.5 billion in additional government-imposed cost increases businesses will face between 2022 and 2024.
“Uncertainty around future sales and the rising cost of borrowing are squeezing small and medium-sized businesses in Metro Vancouver, particularly in light of the additional government-imposed costs businesses are facing,” said Bridgitte Anderson, President and CEO of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade.
Survey data also showed B.C. businesses are missing key export opportunities with over three-quarters (82%) of respondents indicating their business or organization does not sell goods or services outside of Canada. According to Statistics Canada, the number of businesses in B.C. that are importing is currently more than triple the number that are exporting, underscoring the need for targeted measures to increase exports for businesses in the province.
Of the businesses that reported experiencing supply chain challenges, the number that indicated conditions were improving (13%) was more than double the previous quarter (6%). This progress comes as labour negotiations at B.C. ports threaten to worsen years of supply chain disruptions.
“The potential for heightened supply chain challenges as a result of labour negotiations with port workers in B.C. risks exacerbating the disruptions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, heat domes, and flooding. Businesses need stable supply chains to reach their full potential, particularly for those looking to reach international markets,” Anderson concluded.
Expected obstacles in the next three months
- Rising inflation (45%)
- Rising cost of inputs (40%)
- Rising costs in real estate, leasing or property taxes (32%)
- Recruiting and retaining skilled employees (30%/24%)
- Rising interest rates and debt costs (29%)
Anticipated changes in the business environment in the next three months
- Operating expense increase (53%)
- Raising prices (27%)
- Operating income decrease (15%)
- Profitability decrease (35%)
- Cash reserves decrease (25%)
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 Q2 CSBC was collected from April 3 to May 8, 2023. The survey was conducted by Statistics Canada via electronic questionnaire, using a stratified random sample of establishments with employees. The 2023 Q2 CSBC survey results for Metro Vancouver are based on responses from 639 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.