A survey conducted by the law firm Lavery in collaboration with Léger reveals that more than half (58%) of Québec businesses have curbed their growth plans as a result of various financial issues and the labour shortage. The survey, intended to assess the priorities and growth perspectives of Québec businesses, nonetheless reveals that nearly half of organizations (44%) are still looking for opportunities to grow in the coming year.
While 47% of businesses in the professional, scientific and technical services sector report slower progress in reaching their growth targets, they are still the ones that have fared the best in the face of monetary and labour shortage issues. In the construction sector, two thirds of businesses report a decelerating growth plan.
The economic context has been transformed since the pandemic—conditions are constantly changing and capital costs have shot up as a result of rising interest rates. In a tightening market where mistakes are becoming increasingly costly, consulting experts for business guidance prior to making decisions is even more critical then ever to properly develop and structure business plans and ensure strategic growth.
Businesses ill-equipped to meet challenges
One out of four businesses reports having faced financial issues, namely increased operational costs, the fear of recession, the cost of financing or payment deadlines. Likewise, one out of four businesses reports major difficulties resulting from the labour shortage. However, the survey results show that nearly one third (31%) of respondents feel that they are poorly equipped to deal with the issue that is affecting them the most.
The solutions contemplated to ensure growth include hiring employees (49%), making an acquisition (19%) and restructuring (16%). More than half of respondents have considered hiring a legal professional for operations like mergers or acquisitions (67%), takeovers or distribution of shares to key employees (55%) and layoffs (50%).
To counter the labour shortage problem, the first thing businesses usually think of doing is stepping up recruitment efforts. However, over the past two years, organizations have increasingly been choosing to offer shares to key employees to attract, mobilize and retain their personnel. Implementing a digital shift to boost productivity is another popular measure.
Experts—and in particular legal experts—have in-depth knowledge of market issues, transactions and growth opportunities, and businesses stand to benefit from consulting them more often for guidance in developing growth strategies before making decisions.
The results were obtained through a online survey conducted by Léger from May 3 to 18, 2023, targeting a sample of 200 Quebec-based corporate decision-makers and influencers in one of the following sectors: Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting / Mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction / Manufacturing / Finance and insurance / Information industry / Professional services / Corporate and business management / Real estate services / Public administration / Construction.
Jean-François Lemieux, [email protected], 514 877-3002