It’s no surprise the Canadian economy has had a tough year. Earlier in 2015, statistics showed the Canadian economy shrunk by 0.2%, and by May, experienced the fifth consecutive month of 0% or less growth. Economists blame a drop in oil prices that began in 2014, which has had a trickle-down effect on almost every aspect of Canadian economic growth — when oil prices drop, oil service companies scale back, unemployment rates increase (a jump from 5.5% to 5.8% in May 2015) and Canadians have less money to spend on goods and services. Although the Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz isn’t ready to use the term “recession” quite yet, there is no doubt the economy has seen better days.
Although the outlook has been troublesome, economists acknowledge the Canadian economy is beginning to turn around. In part by small businesses exporting goods and services and sharing information about their products through exhibits at international trade show in and outside of Canada, which bring business associates and customers across the U.S. border to experience what the country has to offer.
EXPECTATIONS FOR GROWTH ARE RISING
For the past 15 years, the difference between the five-year Canadian government bond yield and the overnight Bank of Canada rate has been an indicator of future economic growth for the country. As George Pearkes, economic expert from Bespoke Investment Group, shares in this chart, Bank of Canada rate cuts have increased the yield spread, suggesting that Canadian growth is on the horizon for the next year.
“Happy days may not have arrived again, but markets are certainly getting more optimistic about the outlook for the Canadian economy than they were to start 2015,” Pearkes told “MacLeans” earlier this month.
At the very least, expectations for growth have increased considerably, giving small business owners and consumers more confidence to invest in marketing and innovation for their companies. If perception is reality, expect to see more trade show exhibit displays in Canada in the next year.
THE U.S. ECONOMY IS IMPROVING
Export trade is critical for the Canadian economy; a dip in trade partner economies negatively affects the Canadian economy and the businesses that survive on customers from countries like the U.S. and China. Both of these countries are experiencing a slight economic slowdown, especially China, whose economic slump is worse than some experts think. However, the U.S. is seeing some improvement, and the Canadian companies who have invested in their business, employees, and technology will be in a better position to provide products and services to American business demand.
If the adage ‘to make money, you have to spend money’ is true, investing in your business during times of economic stagnation puts you at an advantage when the economy improves.
Luckily, there are ways you can cut marketing costs, including your trade show displays, without sacrificing results so you can promote your business and be ready for new customers.
SMALL BUSINESS PROVIDES FLEXIBILITY AND A FINANCIAL SAFETY NET
Small businesses provide the opportunity to create your own financial future. Although there are many factors associated with business success, owning your own business puts more factors in the business owner’s control. For instance, as the boss of your own company, you can scale your work hours, working more when you need it and less when you don’t. In times of economic stress, owning a small business gives you a chance to create a financial safety net, a luxury many Canadian households don’t have, according to the Survey of Financial Security from Statistics Canada.
A small business gives you a way to create leads, especially through well-designed trade show exhibits and other business investments. Starting and investing in your business will provide a greater opportunity to create a lead-generation machine to support your financial future.
SMALL BUSINESS HELPS KEEP CANADA AFLOAT
In a year of economic sluggishness, small businesses helped the Canadian economy from contracting further. According to Glen Hodgson, Conference Board of Canada, the country is in a period of little to no growth in private investments, which has an effect on productivity and leads to missed opportunities to invest in new technology. A bright spot, however, is the small business success that helped to stimulate the economy. A study from the CIBC, The Canadian Imperial Bank of Canada, found that businesses with fewer than 500 employees created about 80% of the new private sector jobs in the past 12 months. Canada needs a stronger business investment for this trend to continue.
Canadian small businesses can still participate in this growth to further improve the economic outlook for the country. The study also found that only about 10% of Canada’s small and mid-sized businesses are involved in product exports. Starting a business now, or investing in your existing business by partnering with professional trade show display companies in Canada who can help you lure in the valuable export market, can go a long way in helping to improve the economy nationwide.
Canadian economic experts agree that the economy is beginning to improve, and as a business owner or marketing manager this could be a great opportunity to invest in your business. Possible ways to do this are to rethink your marketing strategy, update your branding, get involved in e-marketing, plan your next trade show or event and develop updated marketing content.
By: Mary Buffa –