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Most in the business community remain optimistic about the future growth of their own companies and the overall Saskatoon economy. "The Saskatoon economy remains very robust and our business community remains quite optimistic about the future," said Tanya Knight, regional managing partner of MNP LLP in Saskatoon.
A recent survey conducted by MNP LLP and the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce found more than 96 per cent of respondents intend to maintain or grow their capital investment in the city over the next three years.
Tony Van Burgsteden, president-elect of the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce, said that statistic bodes well for the future.
"That means (businesses) are still extremely optimistic about, first, their business future in the city and, secondly, the long-term ability to invest their dollars."
Thirty-eight per cent said their capital investments increased over the last 12 months.
"That is a statement of confidence in the business community," Knight said. "Businesses aren't going to look to invest if they don't have confidence in the economic outlook of the city." The survey also found more than half (64 per cent) expect their company to perform better in the next year, 61 per cent said they had been affected by the global recession, and a quarter of respondents said hiring/retaining good staff was the "greatest challenge" facing their company.
Interestingly, just 7.5 per cent of respondents said a skills shortage was a challenge for their company. "I think it is indicative that (skills shortages) are industry specific and also geographically specific," said Burgsteden, who is the vice-president of finance and CFO with Areva Resources Canada Inc. "We do struggle to find highly qualified people in northern
Saskatchewan and certain technical skills. But in other areas, we are finding that we are getting an increased number of qualified applicants."
Knight added that instead of a skills shortage there is more of a skills mismatch.
The survey, conducted between April 7-28 sampled 200 Saskatoon business leaders. Respondents included business owners, CEOs, presidents, executive directors, and designated senior corporate officers across all industry sectors.
Since 2006, MNP has been collaborating with chambers across the province to take the temperature of the business climate in their communities. MNP is one of the largest accounting and business consulting firms in Canada, providing client-focused accounting, taxation and consulting advice.
"This is the most favourable (survey) I've seen of all the survey results," Knight said. "The statistics clearly indicate that Saskatoon's business community is on the rise."
The MNP Business Climate Survey Saskatoon 2014 - business attitude, current status and outlook findings include:
38% of respondents increased the number of people they employ, while 55 per cent maintained
23.5% indicated that hiring/retaining good staff was the "greatest challenge" facing their company
61% believed that the global economic situation had an effect on their business
Almost 65% indicated that they expect their company to be performing better 12 months from now
Republished with the express permission of: “The StarPhoenix”, a division of Postmedia Network Inc.
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