FILE - A seaplane passes the downtown skyline while on approach to land on the harbour in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

FILE - A seaplane passes the downtown skyline while on approach to land on the harbour in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

35% of Metro Vancouver businesses report being worse off now than in 2019

As inflation rises, businesses expect to raise costs but lose profits

Businesses across Metro Vancouver continue to struggle despite COVID-19 restrictions having eased, reports a new survey.

That’s according to a new survey released by the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, in partnership with the Business Data Lab at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

The survey shows 35 per cent of businesses in Metro Vancouver report being in a worse overall position compared to 2019. The national average is 28 per cent.

A significant stressor on businesses is rising costs, with 52 per cent saying the rising cost of inputs will be an obstacle in the next three months.

This has resulted in 37 per cent of businesses expecting to raise prices and 40 per cent reporting profits will decrease in that time frame.

Increased labour shortages have resulted in 39 per cent of businesses expecting that recruiting skilled employees will be difficult in the coming months. As a result, management and existing staff are predicted to have to work longer hours.

To combat these problems, nearly 25 per cent of businesses are boosting their training budgets to attract and retain their staff.

“Inflationary pressures and the surge in fuel prices have significantly increased the cost of doing business and these obstacles, coupled with prolonged labour shortages and supply chain disruptions, have created an increasingly challenging business environment,” said Bridgitte Anderson, president and CEO of the GVBOT.

“Considerable economic uncertainty lies ahead, and governments must be mindful of business conditions to ensure that they are not adding costs or burdens onto an increasingly tapped business environment.”

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