Rising Input Costs Remains A Challenge

With COVID-19 vaccination rates rising and restrictions on businesses and the public easing, businesses still faced many uncertainties during the second quarter of 2021, says Statistics Canada. Its ‘Canadian Survey on Business Conditions,’ second quarter of 2021, shows over 40 per cent of rural businesses cited the rising cost of inputs as a challenge they expect to face over the next three months, maintaining its hold as the most common obstacle from the first quarter of 2021. The next three most common short-term obstacles for rural businesses were the cost of insurance, government regulations, and recruiting skilled employees. Additionally, rural businesses (18.5 per cent) were more than twice as likely as urban businesses (8.1 per cent) to expect their internet connection speed to be an obstacle. There was a decrease in the percentage of rural businesses planning to sell, close, or transfer, compared with the first quarter of 2021, from 7.3 per cent to 6.3 per cent. On the other hand, one in seven rural businesses (14.1 per cent) had plans to expand, restructure, invest, or acquire other businesses in the next 12 months.