Affordability challenges more acute; talent remains concern for business
Calgary, September 22, 2022 – While 65.1 per cent of businesses are optimistic about their economic future, Calgary businesses continue to face several headwinds, with affordability and inflation becoming increasingly concerning over the past three months, according to the Q3 Canadian Survey on Business Conditions. The survey was conducted by Statistics Canada in collaboration with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
“Affordability is impacting businesses across all sectors. A weaker Canadian dollar, inflation, persistent supply chain challenges, labour shortages, and rising energy costs are conspiring to increase costs to businesses,” says Deborah Yedlin, President and CEO of the Calgary Chamber. “The confluence of all these factors points to the need for government to reduce the barriers to doing business. We need a competitive environment that enables increased productivity and economic growth across the country.”
Rising costs and affordability
A startling 54.8 per cent of businesses are concerned with the rising costs of inputs, while 34.9 per cent of businesses expect the price of goods and services to increase in the next quarter – both of which will place upward pressure on costs to businesses and consumers.
Despite businesses remaining optimistic, only 12.7 per cent of businesses expect to increase profitability in Q4, while nearly three times as many businesses expect to be less profitable.
Talent and labour
The labour shortage and race for talent persists as a key concern for businesses across all sectors of the economy, with 35.2 per cent of businesses are concerned about recruiting skilled employees, and 26.9 per cent are concerned with retaining their existing workforce.
This is most keenly felt by the arts, entertainment, and recreation sector – jumping from 9.0 per cent businesses concerned about the labour shortage in Q2 to 51.2 per cent in Q3 – and the accommodation and food services sector – rising from 66.9 per cent in Q2 to 78.0 per cent in Q3.
We urge all levels of government to work rapidly and collaboratively to reduce the costs and barriers to doing business, address the talent gap, and focus on the long-term strength and resilience of our economy.
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 founded and funded by our members, we build on our 131-year history to serve and advocate for businesses of all sizes, in all sectors, across the city.