Canadian Underwriter

Marsh finds financial/HR threats keeping business owners up at night

February 9, 2005   by Canadian Underwriter

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In its “2004 Marsh Canada Corporate Risk Review”, the broker finds several key threats are front-of-mind for small and medium-sized businesses, and these threats go well beyond traditional property hazards.
In a survey of organizations from a variety of industries where annual sales are between $100,000 and $1 million, the broker finds financial, economic and human resources risks are all being identified by these organizations as key threats.
This includes capital and financial risks, such as unpaid accounts and low cash flow. It also includes more “macro” issues in terms of the economy, and market trends and conditions, including low demand and shrinking markets.
And organizations were also highly concerned about the impact of human resources and staffing issues on their business, specifically retaining key personnel.
For organizations in the manufacturing sector, for example, Marsh finds identified threats include: the increase in manufacturing in low-cost countries such as China; the potential for damage to a key manufacturing facility; fluctuations in Canadian currency and interest rate increases; the rising cost of natural gas; and the rising cost of labor.
Other sectors represented in the survey include retail, transportation, construction, government, agriculture and financial institutions.

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