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For Immediate Release
Dec. 13, 2023

VANCOUVER, B.C. — The Canadian Survey on Business Conditions data from the fourth quarter for Metro Vancouver shows the predicted economic slowdown is taking place with financial pressures persisting and higher interest rates lowering demand for goods and services. Consequently, business pessimism in Canada has reached its highest point in two years.

The most notable obstacles for Vancouver businesses over the next 3 months are cost-related obstacles (78%), rising inflation (59%), and labour-related obstacles (51%). Notably, over half expect an increase in operating expenses (53%), decreasing profitability (40%), and a decline in cash reserves (30%). Worryingly, one-in-five (20%) foresees a drop in demand for goods and services.

"The convergence of rising operating expenses, diminishing profitability, and continued upward pressure on prices is creating strong financial headwinds, impacting both businesses as well as families and individuals" said Bridgitte Anderson, President and CEO of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. "The data is clear that businesses are struggling with affordability considerations in a similar way to individuals, squeezing their finances and making it more challenging to maintain operations, increase wages, or grow."

This data comes on the heels of the City of Vancouver's budget for 2024 which implements a 7.5% increase in property taxes, a 30% higher business license fee, and various other adjustments, adding to the hurdles faced by small and medium-sized businesses in our city who are clearly already struggling.

"The City's budget combined with the findings of our 'Counting the Costs' report, which calculated businesses will face nearly $6.5 billion in additional provincial government-imposed costs between 2022-2024 highlight the need for a collaborative approach to affordability," noted Anderson.

The Business Data Lab also found a strong correlation between housing (un)affordability and business pessimism, which is highest in B.C. and Ontario. Further highlighting the need for all levels of government to collaborate with the private sector in addressing the housing crisis to improve the lives of people and the economy. This also highlights the reason many employers in B.C. are keen to see bold housing policy moves result in more available and affordable housing for workers.

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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 Q4 2023 CSBC was collected from October 3 to November 6, 2023. The survey was conducted by Statistics Canada via electronic questionnaire, using a stratified random sample of establishments with employees. The Q4 2023 CSBC survey results for Metro Vancouver are based on responses from 684 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 Pacific Canada’s leading business association, engaging members to positively impact public policy at all levels of government and 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 businesses in the country, providing a platform for national and international business and thought leaders to further enlighten B.C.’s business leaders.

Media contact:
Federico Cerani
Communications Manager
Greater Vancouver Board of Trade
604-640-5454 |

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