Thanks to an ever-increasing sense of momentum, entrepreneurs in the Quebec City census metropolitan area (CMA) feel optimistic about 2011. This finding stems from a survey entitled Economic Outlook 2011: Confidence Index of Entrepreneurs in the Quebec City Region Concerning the Future of Their Company/Region, commissioned by Quebec International and the Quebec City Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIQ), in partnership with HKDP Communications and Public Affairs Consulting.
The results of the survey, which was conducted by Léger Marketing and involved 263 business leaders from the Quebec City CMA, were made public during the initial week of "Rentrée Économique", which was held in Quebec City from January 17-21. The survey gauges the viewpoints of entrepreneurs in the Quebec City CMA concerning the 2011 economic outlook.
According to 93% of the respondents, 2011 will be better than 2010 for the Quebec City region in economic terms. Indeed, 90% of the respondents describe themselves as optimistic about their company's performance in 2011, while 87% believe that their industry sector will perform better this year, up from 76% in 2010.
In order to ensure positive results in 2011, local entrepreneurs plan to take concrete action. To strengthen the foundations of their companies, 7 out of 10 business leaders plan to make investments in 2011. Investments in equipment modernization form part of the business plans of 74% of the respondents, while 75% plan to undertake R&D activities. In addition, 73% expect to hire additional employees in Quebec, while 67% believe that financing conditions will be favourable. Furthermore, 91% of the respondents expect to record increased sales in the coming year.
Business development outside Quebec
Despite the obstacles that 66% of the respondents encountered in 2010, 39% of companies will be diversifying their markets outside Quebec, up 4 percentage points from last year.
"Not only are local entrepreneurs expressing rock-solid confidence in their companies and in the region, they are also translating their optimism into concrete action, particularly by investing in R&D and diversifying their markets outside Quebec. In our view, that shows a growing desire and capability to achieve distinction on the international stage," said Carl Viel, President and CEO of Quebec International.
"In the preliminary analysis, this survey reflects the concerted efforts of economic development stakeholders in the Quebec City region. It also reflects the upbeat mood of local entrepreneurs, coupled with great confidence in the future and a positive view of the region," said CCIQ President Luc Paradis. "In addition, this survey provides us with an excellent set of indicators that will allow us to maintain our momentum. It's very clear that our efforts should be focused on labour issues."
Unsurprisingly, local entrepreneurs list labour availability as their main area of concern for 2011. Other major issues include management of public finances, road networks and public transit and project financing.
2010 in review
In Quebec City, 2010 was a good year for business. In addition to Canada's lowest unemployment rate (4.4%), a sense of momentum was noted in various economic spheres across the region. In addition, a number of major investments and high-potential projects were undertaken. With real GDP hitting $26 billion in the third quarter of 2010, the Quebec City CMA set a new record in this regard.
About Quebec International
Quebec International contributes to the economic development of the Quebec City metropolitan region and to its international standing. As an economic development agency, Quebec International fosters business growth, supports key industry clusters and attracts talent and investment to the region. For further information, please visit www.quebecinternational.ca.
About the Quebec City Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The Quebec City Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIQ) brings together more than 4,500 members of the business community from all economic sectors of the Greater Quebec City region. It is the largest business organization in Eastern Quebec. Acting as a catalyst for the region's driving forces for over 200 years, the CCIQ enables the business community to play an active role in regional development and to voice opinions on matters likely to shape regional development.