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Canadian Designers ‘Discover’ New Ideas In DC

Canada was well-represented this summer at “Discover,” the American Institute of Floral Designers’ annual symposium, one of the industry’s largest and most advanced design programs. Hitomi Gilliam, AIFD, EMC; Andrea Strachan, EMC; Aniko Kovacs, AIFD, EMC; Louisa Lam, AIFD, CPFD, PFCI; and Donald Yim, AIFD, CPFD, trekked to Washington, D.C., for the four-day extravaganza, which ran from June 30 through July 4.


“I had a fabulous time at the Symposium this year,” said Yim, creative director at West Van Florist in Vancouver and an education specialist for the Floriology Institute. He led one of the symposium’s business sessions, “How to be an Internet Superstar,” with Renato Sogueco, AAF, PFCI, and assisted Korean florist Alex Choi, AIFD, the Interflora World Cup Champion, in his mainstage program and workshop.

“Every presentation and design was crazily amazing and creative,” he said. “And it was great to meet up with old friends. I loved it all!”


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Agri-Business Confidence Drops Amid Trade Tensions

Small business confidence took a nosedive this summer, following an upturn in late spring. In July, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)’s Business Barometer index dropped five and a half points to 56.8.

“This was the second-weakest confidence level we’ve observed since the resource price crunch of 2015 and 2016,” said Ted Mallett, CFIB’s vice president and chief economist.

“It’s likely that small business owners are losing confidence as a response to international trade tensions, such as the US tariffs on steel and aluminum and Canada’s retaliatory tariffs on US products.”

Industry results: Significant confidence drops in a majority of sectors

Agriculture and retail experienced significant confidence drops to 40.3 and 54.2 respectively, likely due to trade concerns. The wholesale trade, transportation, and information sectors also saw noticeable declines. However, manufacturing and many parts of the service sector remained optimistic.

An index level between 65 and 70 normally indicates that the economy is growing at its potential and a majority of owners expect their business’s performance to be stronger in the next year.

Provincial Results: Ontario Experiences Sharp Loss of Confidence

Ontario lost 6.1 points, the biggest confidence drop in all the provinces. New Brunswick and BC also experienced confidence drops to 55.3 and 56.1 respectively. Quebec lost 3.3 index points, but remained the second most optimistic province after PEI. Newfoundland & Labrador and Saskatchewan experienced confidence gains but remained below the national average. Nova Scotia experienced a healthy 2.5 point gain to 65. Confidence in Alberta and Manitoba remained largely unchanged at 55.8 and 60.1 respectively.

Small Business Owner Outlook

Forty-four percent of owners reported that their business is in good shape, compared to 13 percent who say they are in bad shape. Full-time employment plans are also muted, with 17 percent of owners expecting to add staff compared to 12 percent who plan to cut back in the next three or four months. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses, with 110,000 members across every sector and region.

Katie Hendrick
Katie Hendrick is the editor-in-chief of Canadian Florist.

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