Inflation to remain primary challenge facing MB business, survey shows

Inflation to remain primary challenge facing MB business, survey shows

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Almost four out of five (78%) business leaders indicated that inflation has had a moderate to significant impact on their organization over the past year according to the results of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce’s sixth Annual Manitoba Business Outlook Survey.

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In addition, the Manitoba Business Outlook Survey revealed that 71% of Manitoba business leaders expect inflation to be the biggest barrier to growth for their organization moving forward. The survey was commissioned by the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce and conducted by Leger between Nov. 15 to Dec. 1.

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“It’s clear that businesses have not been immune from inflationary pressures,” said Manitoba Chambers of Commerce CEO Chuck Davidson in a press release. “In fact, they have been forced to take a variety of measures in an effort to deal with increased costs.”

According to the survey, one out of every two businesses has reduced profit margins (48%), raised prices (48%), or reduced internal costs (47%) to combat the impact inflation has had on their operations.

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Chuck Davidson
Manitoba Chambers of Commerce CEO Chuck Davidson.  Photo by Handout /Winnipeg Sun

Davidson added that business optimism is up slightly from last year 74% to 79% – back to numbers typically seen pre-pandemic. However, only 48% of business leaders believe Manitoba has a competitive business climate with other provinces. There is a notable difference in the size of businesses that have a positive view of Manitoba’s business climate, with 69% of large businesses feeling the province is competitive, with only 35% of small businesses in agreement.

To make Manitoba more competitive, 58% of respondents suggested the government reduce business taxes and 51% suggested providing training incentives to grow skilled workforce.

“When it comes to accessing skilled labour, we have yet to move the dial as only 25% of business leaders indicated the situation is improving (24% in 2022), while 47% responded that the situation is worsening,” said Davidson. “Nearly half (44%) of large employers were having difficulty finding skilled employees while 30% of small and medium sized businesses were having difficulty finding sales and customer service employees.”

The Manitoba Business Outlook Survey was delivered in conjunction with survey partner Leger, and supported by CPHR Manitoba, the Rural Manitoba Economic Development Corporation (RMED), and Digital Manitoba Initiative.

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