Probe Research's annual Manitoba Business Leaders Index survey reveals that Manitoba businesses are more likely to worry about increased operating costs and the impact of inflation. Seven in ten say rising costs is one of their main preoccupations, while attracting staff and supply chain disruptions round out the top three issues of concern to businesses in the province. Other issues of note mentioned by at least one in ten businesses include taxation and increased competition.

graph showing issues Manitoba business leaders are most concerned with in 2023

Some of the other key highlights from this year's study - the 20th annual survey of Manitoba business owners and managers - include:

  • More businesses today say they are in a relatively stable position compared to last year, with only one-quarter saying they are now worse off than at this time 12 months ago (24%, down from 41% in 2022) and about one-quarter saying they are better off. Fewer businesses, however, expect to be better off at this time next year (34%, down from 42% in 2022).

  • The proportion of businesses having trouble finding qualified employees continues to rise (70%, up from 63% in 2022 and 39% in 2021). Only one-quarter expect to hire more employees in the coming year, with fewer than one in ten expecting to lay off staff or reduce their available hours.

  • Business leaders continue to give the three levels of government failing grades for their efforts to create a positive business climate. Today, only one-quarter of Manitoba businesses praise the work of their local government (24%, down from 32% in 2022), with those outside Winnipeg much more likely to give high marks to municipal officials. Only one in five (21%) continue to say the provincial government is doing an excellent or good job of creating a good business climate. Even fewer express positive views about the federal government (15%, down from 25% in 2022 and 40% in 2021).

  • A new series of questions on cybersecurity shows that 16 per cent of Manitoba businesses have experienced issues with ransomware, hacking or some other form of cyberattack, with another one-third knowing of at least one other company or organization that has dealt with this issue. Seven in ten businesses report they have taken steps to protect themselves from cyberattacks.

Disclosure Statement

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Probe Research conducted a survey of 200 business owners and managers located throughout Manitoba between February 2 and 23, 2023. Respondents were contacted via telephone and completed the survey via telephone with a live interviewer or via a secure online survey link. The survey sample was stratified to ensure representation from small enterprises  (1-9 employees), medium-sized companies (10-49 employees) and large businesses (50+ employees). Quotas were also set based on region as well as by business sector (services, manufacturing, resources). The sample does not include government departments/agencies, representatives of other public sector entities or not-for-profit organizations. 

With a sample of 200 one can say with 95 percent certainty that the results are within ± 6.9 percentage points of what they would have been if all private-sector business owners/managers in Manitoba had been surveyed. The margin of error is higher within each of the survey’s population sub-groups.

About the Manitoba Business Leaders Index

The Manitoba Business Leaders Index is an annual scientific survey of senior business officials from across the province. The survey sample includes a stratified sampling of CEOs, presidents, business owners and designated senior corporate officers from small, mid-sized and large commercial establishments as defined by Statistics Canada and the Manitoba Bureau of Statistics. This business sampling includes publicly traded and private companies from all major sectors of Manitoba industry.

Business listings have been developed based upon the most authoritative and up-to-date sampling sources available including various telephone directories.