Survey shows slight dip in economic confidence for B.C. entrepreneurs

. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Small business owners in B.C. aren’t feeling as confident about the future.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has released its survey numbers from March on optimism in the economy, and after three straight months of growth, the data says that entrepreneurs are feeling a little less comfortable.

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CFIB Economist Aaron Aerts says the NDP government’s plan for the health payroll tax could have been a factor in the slide.

“I would say that that would definitely be part of the question. Whether looking ahead to see an upwards of two per cent tax on some businesses, obviously that would have an implication on how they’re looking to expand. So they could definitely have an impact in March,” he said.

“As well as some of the trade dispute you’re seeing between Alberta and British Columbia. There’s a lot of talk about skyrocketing gas prices and things like that. So that could’ve had an effect on business confidence.”

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According to the results, confidence fell about three points to 65.9, making B.C. the fourth most confident province or territory in the country.

“It’s still at a relatively healthy level… In terms of relative rankings, they’ve fallen slightly, but that could obviously change.”

Aerts says this is the first time in a little while B.C. has been outside of the top three.