A Call for Productivity! March 19, 2010 RICCentre By Ken Sweeney During the past week there has been a strong upward pressure on the loonie driven primarily by strength in commodity and equity markets. It is a double-edged sword. On the positive side, the Canadian economy remained relatively stable throughout the economic downturn, is now showing signs of growth and has a plethora of resources, which are in great demand by developing nations. However, as good as these signs may be for Canada, the positive trends may not translate into growth for small to medium sized businesses that have survived these turbulent 18 months. There are a couple of main reasons for this: • The cost of financing will increase due to higher expected interest rates • Exporting will become less competitive as the Canadian dollar strengthens Due to these challenges, the focus for small business needs to be on productivity! Timing is everything. While interest rates are still low, greater emphasis needs to be placed now on productivity improvements, which have been sorely lacking in this country. I encourage all business leaders to take a look at the market signals, analyze how it will affect the road ahead and decide what can be done now to improve business in the future. It is a constant process.