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Canadian Business Owners Give Current Federal Government A Thumbs-Down

Sage Survey found two-thirds of Canadian business owners believe current federal government policies have not helped businesses grow; confidence among business owners is split.

Key Findings:

  • 66% find that federal government policies have not helped businesses grow in the past 12-18 months.
  • Confidence among business owners is split, with nearly half (49%) of business owners planning to invest in their businesses in the next 12-18 months.
  • A third (32%) of business owners who are not investing in their business believe the government has created poor conditions for business owners. 
  • 61% are unaware of any government provided services and programs to help grow their business.

(Toronto, October 8, 2019) Sage, a market leader in cloud business management solutions, today released a survey conducted in partnership with market research agency Angus Reid examining how confident Canadian business owners are in the current economy. According to the survey results, Canadian businesses owners’ confidence in their business future is split, with two-thirds (66%) of Canadian business owners agreeing that the current federal government policies have not helped businesses grow in the past 12 to 18 months. Three-in-five (61%) are also unaware of any government provided services and programs to help grow their business.

The confidence of the business owners, as reflected by their willingness to invest in their companies, is split. Nearly half (49%) of business owners plan to invest in their businesses in the next 12-18 months, motivated by the following three business drivers:

  • Planning to be in the business for a long time (62%)
  • Adding resources to support growth (48%)
  • Diversifying their offerings (35%)

For those who are not planning to invest in their business (51%), a third of them (32%) believe the government has created poor conditions for business owners. For those who are aspiring to set up their own business, the anticipated low interest rates (69%) is a factor to encourage them to take on risks.
The survey was conducted between August 22 to 26, 2019, soliciting responses from 1604 working Canadians across the nation who hold full-time or part-time positions or are self-employed, as well as 624 business owners with one or more employees. 

“For Canada’s economy to thrive, we have to keep business owners’ confidence high,” said Paul Struthers, EVP and Managing Director of Sage in Canada. “We can see from the survey results that business owners across the nation are very committed towards success, and we see the same ambitious dedication in our customers. Our government should hear their concerns and support their growth so that we can all work towards a promising future.”

Trade War? What Trade War?

Given the majority of the business owners conduct their business within Canada (81%), the global trade tensions have little impact on their reality:

  • 67% of business owners have not felt the impact of the global trade tensions yet
  • 62% are not changing their business plans because of the rising trade tensions

Investment Priorities

For businesses that are investing in the next 12 to 18 months, sales and marketing (50%) and technology (47%) are the two main priorities and hiring (28%) and real estate (24%) are the lowest priorities. Furthermore, 4 in 5 business owners (79%) believe the latest business solutions will be helpful in growing their business.

“Business owners across Canada will be very attentive this federal election season,” said Demetre Eliopoulos, SVP & Managing Director of Public Affairs at Angus Reid. “While many are optimistic and investing for the long haul, others will need to be reassured that their federal government will capably steer the country through trade tensions and is committed to fostering their growth.”

About the Survey

In partnership with Sage in Canada, Angus Reid conducted an online survey among a representative sample of 1604 employed adult Canadians and 624 business owners. The respondents are members of Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes only, this sample plan would carry a margin of error of +/- 2.4 percentage points and 3.9 percentage points respectively, 19 times out of 20.

Media Contact

Betty Tian
Office: 604-207-3611
[email protected]

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 About Sage

Sage (FTSE: SGE) is the global market leader for technology that helps businesses of all sizes manage everything from money to people – whether they’re a start-up, scale-up or enterprise. We do this through Sage Business Cloud - the one and only business management solution that customers will ever need, comprising Accounting, Enterprise Management, People & Payroll and Payments & Banking.

Our mission is to free business builders from the burden of admin, so they can spend more time doing what they love – and we do that every day for three million customers across 23 countries, through our 13,000 colleagues and a network of accountants and partners. We are committed to doing business the right way and giving back to our communities through the Sage Foundation.

About Angus Reid

Angus Reid is Canada’s most well-known and respected name in public opinion and market research data. Offering a variety of research solutions to businesses, brands, governments, not-for-profit organizations and more, the Angus Reid team connects technologies and people to derive powerful insights that inform your decisions. Data is collected through a suite of tools utilizing the latest technologies. Prime among that is the Angus Reid Forum, an opinion community consisting of engaged residents across the country who answer surveys on topical issues that matter to all Canadians.

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