Half of Campbell River businesses performing better this year than last

Colleen Evans

Though the majority of businesses feel uncertain about the local economy, 51 per cent said they are performing better financially than they were a year ago and 37 per cent say they will be hiring in upcoming months, according to the Business Leadership survey that was released today.

The survey was conducted by MNP and the Campbell River Chamber of Commerce, with the intention of getting an idea of what is happening in the Campbell River business community right now and using it as a benchmark for further research two or three years down the road.

“The purpose of it is to get a short pulse about what’s happening at a particular time in the community,” said Stuart Wise, of MNP. “The goal is just to get an economic snapshot to really start a conversation and help provincial and local governments create those policies and get that information, as well as the small businesses, the medium sized businesses, have the information to help them to make their decisions.”

The majority of businesses reported that their five year plan was to grow the business, but in the next year, 40 per cent identified that a lack of skilled labour will be one of their biggest limitations.

“In the responses there are still a lot of comments coming through where there is a lot of the major wage earners in the family still going off on an airplane to Fort Mac and areas that are like that…so that is where your lack of skilled labour is coming through, part of it,” said Brad Piercy of MNP.

Meanwhile, 14 per cent of the respondents expect to either move, exit, sell, or transition the business to family in the next five years, though 60.5 per cent said they do not have a company succession plan.

The survey was done through phone interviews by third-party market research firm PRA Inc. More than 1,200 businesses were randomly selected from a list of Campbell River business licence holders and Chamber members.

Of those, 504 were reached and 200 completed the survey.

Most of the respondents’ businesses were located in Campbell River.

Of the 200, 18.5 per cent were retail businesses, 13.5 per cent classified themselves as ‘other services’ and 10.5 per cent were construction businesses.

Other categories included accommodation and food services, finance and insurance and manufacturing as well as others.

“From this we compared to Statistics Canada to see how accurate our sample was,” Wise said. “We feel we have a strong sample of what Campbell River businesses look like in this sample.”

The full results of the survey are available online.