The results of a recent Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) study show 70 percent of Canadian entrepreneurs expect increased sales for 2017. Last year just 45 percent had such optimism. With renewed confidence in the economy, entrepreneurs plan to boost business investments to $96.6 billion in 2017, putting this total at 1.6 percent higher than 2016. The strongest areas of growth are predicted to come from technology, manufacturing and exporting.
“This survey confirms the optimism we’re hearing from our business clients every day,” says Pierre Cléroux, BDC’s vice president, research, and chief economist. “Entrepreneurs are increasingly confident in the economy, with exporters leading the way in terms of investment intentions. Canadian businesses are ready to invest and they have growth on their minds. Our research also confirms technology is playing an increasingly important part in our economy. Greater investment will help Canadian companies get more productive and that’s key for staying competitive in the current business environment.”
The survey was completed with data and input from 3,988 executives at small and mid-sized companies. Alberta leads with a 17.1 percent jump in planned investments. The Atlantic region anticipates the same level as last year, and Quebec reports a 0.6 percent expected increase. British Columbia and the territories expect a 5.4 percent investment decline, and Saskatchewan and Manitoba expect a drop almost inversely proportional to Alberta’s gain – 17.5 percent.
To date, planned investments for technology firms have taken a giant leap forward, up 41 percent over 2016 investments. Coming in second is manufacturing, up 17 percent and from coast to coast, entrepreneurs are prioritizing growth and productivity projects in IT, training, machinery, equipment and vehicles.
The BDC study also noted that the top drawbacks to investing right now are a lack of cash and a lack of qualified personnel – and this is not as dire as it seems when compared to last year’s biggest obstacle: the economy.
For the current year, less than one in four businesses plan to use credit. The majority are looking to finance investments thorough working capital and/or internal funds.
BDC’s study indicates great things for 2017. Even companies that were not expecting to grow this year plan to invest an average of $150,000. After many months of economic uncertainty, low oil prices and the financial fallout from the devastating fires in Fort McMurray, Canadians are facing the future with ever-growing optimism.
Business Development Bank (BDC) is the only bank in Canada that works exclusively with small and medium-sized businesses. BDC has more than 110 business centres from coast to coast that provide companies in all sectors with financing and advisory services. BDC Capital, the bank’s investment arm, offers equity, venture capital, flexible growth and transition capital solutions. BDC is proud to present a free productivity marketing tool to show entrepreneurs where their business stands when compared to other Canadian companies. Learn more about this tool, and more about BDC at www.bdc.ca.