Will Trump and Trudeau be Bad for Business in 2017?

Will the election of Donald Trump help or hurt my business?

That is what is on the minds of every small business owner in the US and Canada as we approach inauguration day south of the border.

According to a survey conducted on the Angus Reid Business Forum — a community of business leaders — eight in ten (77%) Canadian small business owners expect 2017 to be a “good year”.

Still, a significant minority are worried about US President-Elect Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Four in ten (41% each) selected Trump and Trudeau as being likely to have a negative impact on their business in 2017. For Trudeau, that may come as something of an unpleasant surprise after the Trudeau government gave the small business file a promotion, elevating it from a junior minister of state position to a full cabinet role in 2015.

One in five (18%) fear the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin might negatively affect their business. Smaller numbers are concerned about Chinese President Xi Jinping (12%) German Chancellor Angela Merkel (6%) and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto (4%).

It’s not all bad news though, one in four (26%) expect Trudeau to have a positive effect on their business, and one in five (21%) have the same hope for Trump.

Most Canadian small business owners are unconcerned about Trump’s threat to take America out of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement. While 29% think that would be a “bad thing” for their business, two thirds (67%) think it would “make no difference” to them.

With Trump’s inauguration on Friday, we will start seeing the impact very soon, including how well Trump and Trudeau will connect and evolve the overall Canada-US relations.

What do you think? We would love to hear from the small business community in particular, on this hot-button topic. Join the conversation on Twitter or Facebook.


A total of 444 small business owners from across English speaking Canada were contacted through the Angus Reid Business Forum, a community of business leaders whose role and business type has been pre-identified. The survey was completed online between December 13 and 14, 2016.

About the Angus Reid Business Forum

The Angus Reid Business Forum is Canada’s premiere online business research community, giving Canadian business leaders the opportunity to voice their opinions since 2008. Organizations use the Angus Reid Business Forum to help them better understand the business-to-business community on a variety of topics including buying behaviour, business outlook, government policies, the economy, and taxation. Members are prescreened on the number of employees, type of industry, role in the business and many other attributes. This makes it possible to quickly and efficiently reach any type of business leader.

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