Charlottetown, PE (September 12, 2023) – Today, the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce (GCACC) released results from its 2023 Membership Survey, revealing the increasing cost of doing business as the top concern among respondents.
“The persistent rise in operating expenses is posing significant challenges for our local businesses, hindering growth, investment, and jeopardizing the economic sustainability of our small and medium businesses,” said GCACC interim-CEO Kim Horrelt. “It is crucial for government to prioritize measures that address inflationary pressures and support our business community, or more businesses may be forced to close.”
The online survey, conducted over June and July, was sent to all chamber members. Respondents were primarily small business owners located in Charlottetown, and encompassed a wide range of sectors including retail, food and beverage, manufacturing, professional services, and more.
Over 75% of survey respondents marked inflation/cost of doing business as the most pressing concern or issue impacting their business. Additionally, almost 40% of respondents marked rising interest rates as a top concern.
Examining business confidence levels, 4% of respondents are unsure what the next 12 months will look like financially for their business, while 10% expect their revenue to decrease over the next 12 months. In comparison, last year 5% of respondents expected revenue to decrease, while pre-pandemic just 1% of member respondents expected a decrease in revenue.
Other top-ranked concerns among members include staff recruitment, rising interest rates, personal taxation, staff retention, red tape and government regulations, access to skilled labour, and housing affordability and availability.
The Chamber will use results from this survey to shape advocacy efforts and priorities, and inform upcoming meetings with all levels of government over the next year. Most recently, the data from the survey was shared in a meeting with Minister Anita Anand, President of the Treasury Board of Canada.
Over the last year, the Chamber has been advocating on issues related to personal taxation as a way for the provincial government to ease rising costs – such as implementing an income tax indexing system to prevent inflationary bracket creep, raising and tying subsequent Basic Personal Amount increases to the Consumer Price Index, and more competitive tax bracket rates. The Chamber also recently joined over 280 associations across Canada in sending an open letter to the federal government, urging the extension of the current CEBA repayment deadline while maintaining access to the forgivable portion, as one way the government could help small-and-medium size businesses avoid going into more debt.
To view all our submissions to government and learn more about our advocacy efforts, click here to view our Policy Library.
Click here for an infographic of the 2023 membership survey results. Every year, the Chamber asks members to share their views on the organization’s member services and advocacy concerns.
About The Chamber:
The Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce connects business and community and is PEI’s largest business advocacy organization with more than 1,150 members. For more information on the Chamber, visit www.charlottetownchamber.com.
Policy and Communications Specialist
(902) 628-2000 x 224