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June 27 2023

Q2 survey shows business optimism steady despite mounting economic pressures

Calgary, Alberta, June 22, 2023 – According to the 2023 Q2 Canadian Survey on Business Conditions, businesses continue to face major challenges: rising costs (58.5%), labour shortage (36.4%), and waning demand (22.5%) and supply chain constraints (18.9%). For many, their ability to handle these pressures is waning, with 8% fewer planning to take on more debt, many bracing for lower profits, and 7.4% expecting to close.

These challenges are particularly acute in sectors most impacted by changes to discretionary spending, like retail and hospitality, as well as small businesses. However, we see a ‘k-shaped recovery’, with 69% of businesses optimistic about the future, many planning to expand, including manufacturing, trade and finance. The study was conducted by Statistics Canada in collaboration with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

“Businesses continue to face major headwinds, and with discretionary spending slowing and businesses bracing for a bumpy ride ahead. Many are planning to take on less debt, spend less on capital and hire fewer people,” says Deborah Yedlin, President and CEO of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. “At the same time, businesses continue to be optimistic for their enterprises and for the future of the city, demonstrating their resilience and ongoing commitment to Calgary’s success.”

The Calgary Chamber calls on all levels of government to support businesses as they navigate ongoing uncertainty, helping maximize the economic resiliency and growth, and mitigating negative impacts to jobs, investment, and diversification efforts. In particular, the Chamber urges government to keep costs low and table, including taxes and fees, and reducing uncertainty with controllable costs.

We also encourage the government to address the persistent and structural labour shortage, adjusting the immigration system, funding upskilling and reskilling programs, and maintaining marketing campaigns. Lastly, we call on governments to invest in supply chain infrastructure, prioritizing local manufacturing hubs and critical infrastructure.

Read our full report here.

About the Calgary Chamber of Commerce

The Calgary Chamber exists to help businesses thrive. As the convenor and catalyst for a vibrant, inclusive and prosperous business community, the Chamber works to build strength and resilience among its members and position Calgary as a magnet for talent, diversification and opportunity. As an independent, non-profit, non-partisan organization, we build on our 132-year history to serve and advocate for businesses of all sizes, in all sectors and across the city.

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