Recession could be looming but Canadian SMBs are confident

New survey data reveals that most small and medium sized businesses are expecting growth over the next six months

Recession could be looming but Canadian SMBs are confident
Steve Randall

Talk of recession is not dampening the expectations of Canada’s small and medium sized businesses.

A new survey of more than 1500 business leaders (C-level to manager) reveals that 73% are optimistic about the future with 40% predicting growth of up to 10% in the next six months, 23% expecting 11-20% growth, and 11% expecting growth above 20%.

The poll was conducted by accounting tech firm Zoho Corporation and found that almost two thirds of respondents said their pricing has been impacted by inflation.

The share of those who are optimistic has declined around eight percentage points from a previous poll in May.

The survey asked SMB leaders about staffing plans.

It found that 43% are planning to hire, 51% are expecting no change, and less than 6% are anticipating layoffs.

"Canadian SMBs are confident about future business growth and this is reflected in their hiring plans, despite inflation impacting their pricing models," says Chandrashekar LSP, Zoho Canada's managing director. "SMBs power this country's economy and the fact that SMB business leaders are navigating today’s challenges such as inflation, hiring and retention, return-to-work models, and more, while still remaining highly optimistic about business growth and profitability means that Canada should fare well during a possible upcoming recession."

Regional stats


  • Alberta - 41.8% hiring, 50.9% no change, 7.3% layoffs
  • BC - 41.3% hiring, 53.3% no change, 5.4% layoffs
  • ON - 43.6% hiring, 51.9% no change, 4.5% layoffs
  • Quebec - 44.8% hiring, 48.7% no change, 6.5% layoffs


  • Alberta - 72.1% yes, 27.9% no
  • BC - 59.9% yes, 40.1% no
  • ON - 66.3% yes, 33.7% no
  • Quebec - 67.8% yes, 32.2% no