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Small-business optimism up, but Manitoba still lower than average

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Small business optimism recovered some of its droopiness in Manitoba in November, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’s (CFIB) latest monthly Business Barometer.

But Manitoba still remains below the national average.

The index in Manitoba increased by 3.9 points in November to 61.3 The national index which fell 2.7 points to 62.9. Manitoba’s index was falling since the summer, but started picking up in September and October.

The latest CFIB report notes the main operating challenge for Manitoba small business operators remains the shortage of skilled labour (39 per cent); wages (59 per cent), insurance (57 per cent) and fuel/energy (53 per cent) are the top cost pressures; and 15 per cent of businesses plan to increase full-time employment in the next 3-4 months while 18 per cent plan to decrease.

Small business owners in Newfoundland and Labrador (74.1 per cent) remain the most optimistic in the country. Entrepreneurs in British Columbia (67.1), Alberta (68.3) and Saskatchewan (66.4) are above the national average. Ontario (63.0), New Brunswick (61.4), Manitoba (61.3), Nova Scotia (60.8), Quebec (60.2) and Prince Edward Island (52.1) are at or below the national average.

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