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News   April 26, 2019   by Adam Malik

Staffing problems means lack of biz investing

Many business owners — including those in the automotive aftermarket — can’t find enough staff. It’s holding them back from investing in their business.

Businesses owners can’t find enough staff so they’re not planning on pumping more money into their business, a new study from Business Development Bank of Canada found.

A lack of qualified workers and lack of confidence in the economy means investments will be limited, according to BDC’s fourth annual report on the investment intentions of small and mid-sized companies.

It’s the second year in a row that labour shortage has been blamed for a lack of investing plans, with more than half (53 per cent) saying so. Insufficient cash flow (48 per cent) and confidence in Canada’s economy (43 per cent) rounded out the top three reasons.

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Meanwhile, business owners are optimistic about revenue growth with 73 per cent expecting positive numbers.

What will businesses invest in? About 40 per cent said they’re planning to devote all or some of their investment to new technologies.

“It is encouraging to see some optimism from Canadian businesses as they adapt to the labour shortage and digital technology,” says Pierre Cléroux, vice president, research and chief economist at BDC. “[Small and medium-sized enterprises] make up 99.7 per cent of Canadian companies, so their success is crucial to the economy. Companies can better meet today’s challenges if they invest in retaining workers, hiring newcomers to Canada and adopting new technology.”

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