The impact on labour and population shift on Canadian SMBs

Posted by Braden Wallace & Rob Hinschberger, Advanced Office Solutions 22-09-2021 11:10 AM

For decades, the large metropolitan centres of Canada such as Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver, Calgary, and many more have been hailed as the epicentre of Business in our country, with an average population of 2.85 million (2021) it’s been difficult to ignore the opportunities available in these growing cities. But over the past year and a half, the shift to a hybrid “work from home” office has disbursed this growth and population to neighbouring urban areas. 

Surrounding municipalities across Canada have seen an influx of skilled labour and population in response to; the pandemic, a shift to work from home, and the growth of virtual collaboration platforms. This unexpected growth in urban settings is causing Provincial Governments to revert to the drawing board and introduce updated growth strategies. Additionally, Local Governments are announcing updated figures of their own, this has been seen recently in Southern Ontario with some regions announcing expected average population size and growth force jobs of up to 59% by 2041!

Businesses that operate in the Technology and Managed Service industry are responsible for knowing the pulse and thoughts of the business communities they serve. To learn more about how this growth will impact SMBs across Canada, we recently surveyed over 200 local businesses that operate in some of the growing urban environments previously mentioned. Although the survey only consisted of six questions, the responses were eye-opening and give insight into where and how SMBs are making strategic investments into their businesses and what topics are top of mind for C-Level Executives.

When asked how much the growth in their communities will impact their business, 23% of respondents answered, “A Great Deal” 40% responded “A Lot” and only 5% responding with “None at All.” For decision makers, not taking the expected growth into account when making business-altering decisions could only be classified as negligible at best.

The greatest impact local business leaders anticipate as a result of expected growth is Additional Locations (34%), Increased Revenue Streams (32%), and Increased Staff Size / Job Creation (29%). With this information, businesses that choose to proactively scout potential new office locations, strategize for new/increased revenue, and add/retain skilled labour are setting themselves up for success in both and short and long term.

Many of these businesses will look to existing vendors to provide insights on strategic investments that will produce ROI and aim to be the backbone of their business as they grow with their communities. 41% of respondents agreed SaaS Solutions to Increase Productivity is the #1 priority and area of investment in their business, with Data Security (25%) and Digital Transformation (24%) rounding out the areas of budgets are being reallocated to.

If businesses or local managed service providers fail to prepare for expected growth in population and skilled labour, they are ultimately preparing to fail, as the growth is coming and those who choose to act will be those who remain.

Braden Wallace & Rob Hinschberger, Advanced Office Solutions.