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Cash crunch: small business owners struggle to maintain adequate cash flow

Cash crunch: small business owners struggle to maintain adequate cash flow

October 26, 2015, Vancouver, B.C. – Cash flow is the biggest struggle for local small business owners, says a survey released today by Vancity credit union.

Vancity commissioned Insights West to conduct the survey on small business to identify major areas of stress for small business owners, discover barriers to success and assess their needs. The survey was conducted for Small Business Week, and in advance of launching the Small Business BC’s Good Money™ Talks Small Business series on October 29.

Of the small business owners polled:

  • Managing cash flow is the main “stress producer” (43%), followed by balancing growth of the business with day-to-day operations (29%).
  • Finding new clients is the most significant barrier to success (55%) followed by having enough time to run the business (39%).
  • Less than one-third (32%) have an up-to-date business plan.
  • Just one in five (20%) have a financial advisor for their business, relying instead on written resources (43%), accountants (37%), friends (34%) and family (32%).
  • Half (50%) say social media is important to the success of their business, yet only a little over one-third (35%) have a social media presence.
  • Social media is used significantly more often as a promotional tool (33%) compared to online advertising (15%).
  • Almost half (47%) of small business owners say that customers find them through a website, but the vast majority (90%) say word of mouth continues to be the main promotional vehicle.

The first topics addressed in the Small Business BC’s Good Money™ Talks Small Business series will be: How to develop a cash flow project, optimizing your social media, and identifying your customers – the keys to market research. The session runs Oct. 29 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Surrey City Hall. While there is no cost to businesses, they must register in advance at


"Managing cash flow is only one of many challenges that local small business owners face daily. Financial institutions need to provide small businesses with more than just a business account – they need advice as well as practical support on building and managing their businesses if they are to continue growing our local economy.” Christine Bergeron, Vancity's vice-president of community business
“Small business represents 98 per cent of all business in British Columbia. These businesses are critical to the economic health of every community in the province. We’re delighted to partner with Vancity for the Good Money™ Talks Small Business series to help strengthen the small business community in Surrey and across B.C"George Hunter, CEO, Small Business BC

Additional information


Insights West conducted an online poll of 677 small business owners in Metro Vancouver and Victoria between Oct. 13 and Oct. 21, 2015. The results have a margin of error of +/- 3.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

About Vancity

Vancity is a values-based financial co-operative serving the needs of its more than 509,000 member-owners and their communities through 59 branches in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria, Squamish and Alert Bay. As Canada’s largest community credit union, Vancity uses its $18.6 billion in assets to help improve the financial well-being of its members while at the same time helping to develop healthy communities that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.

Tweet us @vancity and connect with us on

For more information:

Lorraine Wilson | Vancity
T: 778-837-0394


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