Recently, we asked local business owners to let us know how business was going in Halton. We asked about their current operations, their investment and expansion plans, their strategic forecasts, and what their opinions are on the desirability of doing business in the region.
Halton Region’s Business Conditions survey samples over 500 local business owners and executives every year in order to obtain information on the economic conditions faced by local businesses. This information is used to provide insight on initiatives and policies that impact local business and to help Halton target programs to fit the needs of the business community. The recently released 2016 survey report shows that Halton business owners are performing well, are anticipating strong growth, and that they view Halton as a competitive location within the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas (GTHA).
- Halton businesses performing well
Halton business owners enjoyed a successful 2015/2016, with a third of businesses hiring additional staff and 42% seeing profit increases. Halton businesses are also focusing on innovation, with over a quarter of businesses engaging in research and development, or introducing improved products, production processes or machinery and equipment. Halton business owners also appear to be setting their sights globally – 30% of businesses surveyed reported exporting their products, or services, last year.
- Halton businesses anticipate growth
Over half of Halton businesses identified as a start-up, or in the growth stage of development. Business owners show no signs of slowing down; 34% of owners say they are investing in growth over the next 12 month through such things as facility expansions, additional inventories or relocations. Over 70% of owners are making productivity investments through skills training, technology, machinery and equipment, or R&D. It is expected that these growth plans will pay off for local business owners, as over 9 in 10 Halton business owners are forecasting steady or higher profits, over the upcoming year.
- Halton Region viewed as competitive location
Many business owners in Halton (44%) decided to locate their business in one of Halton’s four communities because they also live in Halton. It is not surprising that 94% of Halton business owners rank Halton’s quality of life and community safety as either comparable, or better thanthe rest of the GTHA. Our business owners also give Halton high rankings for market access, proximity to suppliers, availability and cost of suitable space, availability of land and skilled labour, among many other important attributes.