Monday, October 15, 2007

But first, the bad news

I found a curious story in today’s Financial Post (the first of the new “Small Business”-focussed Posts, which will run every Monday).

This CanWest News Service story, "Loonie rise bodes well," quoted TD Bank Financial Group in a recent report saying that the strong Canadian dollar “offers advantages to the country's small businesses going into 2008.”

Sadly, the story cites few indicators that "bode well."

"The overall assessment is that 2008 should be a decent year for small business, but significant challenges will be present," says TD's Craig Alexander. "Small-business owners cannot be complacent and must be innovative in developing strategies to address the challenges."

Among the points this short article makes:
· Labour markets will remain extremely tight and wage pressure will persist;
· This situation shows no sign of changing;
· Business owners must develop strategies to attract and retain high-skilled employees;
· Competition will remain fierce in the domestic and international spheres;
· Small businesses will be “very constrained” when it comes to setting prices;
· Businesses exporting to the United States are suffering from a harsh trading climate.

I’m still wondering what exactly makes next year look so “decent" for small business. And which businesses will benefit from the high-flying Canadian dollar.

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