Small business confidence in NL improving

Business owners in Newfoundland and Labrador country's most optimistic: CFIB

Small business optimism in NL drops ahead of budget

Measured on a scale between 0 and 100, an index level above 50 means owners expecting their business' performance to be stronger in the next year outnumber those expecting weaker performance. Nationally, the index stayed at 62.9.

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"Small business owners in Newfoundland and Labrador are definitely concerned about the amount of red tape involved in running a business in this province". Prince Edward Island once again has Canada's least optimistic businesses, with its index sinking to 56.5.

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"Growth in the economy continues to be hindered as many small business owners find it hard due to the much higher taxes and fees placed on them and their customers in the last budget", Vaughn Hammond, the CFIB's director of provincial affairs in the province, said in a news release. Short-term hiring plans remain less robust though, with only 20 per cent expecting to hire full-timers in the next few months and 17 expecting to cut back on numbers. Thirty-two per cent said the general state of the economy was "good" in March, with 21 per cent calling it "bad". "While our province has a booming economy, " Hammond said, "small business owners face a number of challenges, including excess regulation and labour shortages".

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The province will deliver its next budget on April 6. An overwhelming 81 per cent say tax and regulatory costs are the biggest cost constraint.

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