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Sask. small business optimism falls for third straight month: CFIB report

Small business optimism in Saskatchewan has fallen for a third consecutive month. Global News

Small business optimism in Saskatchewan continues to decline, according to the Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

The CFIB Business Barometer shows optimism among Saskatchewan small business owners dropped six point in May to 49.1. The national average is 66, its best level in two-and-a-half years.

“Saskatchewan small business optimism took a nosedive in May and fell for the third consecutive month,” CFIB Prairie & agri-buisiness vice-president Marilyn Braun-Pollon said.

Braun-Pollon added that their survey found 21 per cent of employers are planning layoffs over the next three months. Only 14 per cent are looking to hire.

“It is evident that entrepreneurs are continuing to feel the negative impact of the $908 million in tax hikes announced in the 2017 provincial budget, and recent municipal property tax increases introduced in many municipalities across the province,” Braun-Pollon added.

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“This is on top of an Employment Insurance tax hike for all Canadians and their employers, followed by five years of Canadian Pension Plan premium increases. And if the federal government gets its way, starting next year, Saskatchewan residents and entrepreneurs will face five years of escalating carbon taxes.”

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Saskatchewan’s small business optimism is the second lowest out of the ten provinces, ahead of Newfoundland and Labrador’s 45.3.

READ MORE: 79 per cent of Sask. small business owners have negative view of budget: survey

Other highlights from the Saskatchewan May Business Barometer include:
• Twenty-nine per cent of small businesses said they’re in good shape. The national average is 43 per cent.
• Sixteen per cent say they’re in bad shape, with a national average of 11 per cent.
• Insufficient domestic demand is the main operating challenge (50 per cent), followed by shortage of skilled labour (28 per cent), management skills and time constraints (23 per cent).
• Major cost pressures include for small business include: tax and regulatory costs (54 per cent), wage costs (45 per cent) and insurance costs (42 per cent).

The Business Barometer is measured on a scale of zero to 100. A score above 50 means the owner expects their business to perform better than the previous year.
This survey had 673 respondents, collected from a random sample of CFIB members. Findings are statistically accurate +/- 3.8 per cent 19 times out of 20.

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