It’s no wonder that Synergy Merchant Services works so diligently to support small and medium-sized businesses in Canada. According to a recent report issued by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, small businesses are most likely to maintain their staff, providing the type of job security and lengthy employment necessary for recovery in the post-recession era.
On May 25th, Brian Morton of The Vancouver Sun wrote about of how the nation’s smallest companies seem to be supporting employment the most. Due to the relatively modest size of these businesses, it appears as if it works in the best interests of all involved to hire and keep staff for the long-term.
According to CFIB’s vice-president and chief economist Ted Mallett: “The cost of losing an employee is considerably higher for a small firm than for a larger firm. Losing one person in a staff of 10 is 10 per cent of your workforce. It has a massive effect on the capability of the business.”
Morton points out that the CFIB report, known as “A Peek At The Trough”, took a look at the percentages of payroll employment that was lost following the recent recesssion. Large business lost 5.6 per cent of their staff while medium-sized business lost 5.9 per cent. Small businesses employing less than 50 people, on the other hand, only experienced a 2 per cent decline in job positions.
Apparently, this is a trend that has existed for some time. Mallett explains that smaller companies see layoffs as a last resort and, as a result, generally hold on to their employees longer than bigger businesses who may view members of their workforce as expendable. He views small business as “a stabilizing force in the economy.”
Brian Bonney, CFIB’s director of provincial affairs in British Columbia agrees. He believes that small business owners need to hold on to their staffs in order to rebuild following the recession. Essentially, a smaller staff generally encourages a tighter-knit workforce.
Said Bonney: “Having a trained employee who can help the small business grow after the recession is huge. (Small business owners) stop paying themselves so they can hold on to their staff. Larger businesses are more bottom-line oriented. They say ‘we have to cut people to get costs down.’ They’re not on the front lines. They don’t make the connection between the bottom line and the fact that to rehire staff will cost even more.”
Our hats off to small business owners all over Canada. With job loss among the highest concerns of Canadians following the global financial crisis, the record of small businesses maintaining their staffs is one to be proud of. We are confident that small business in Canada will continue to be a driving force for the national economy. And we will be doing our best to continue to support these businesses.