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Calgary small biz owners happiest in Canada


August 4, 2010
By Amanda Ryder

Aug. 4, 2010 – Small business owners in Calgary are the happiest in Canada and rank in the top-five in North America, according a study conducted by TD Canada Trust.

Aug. 4, 2010 – Small business owners in Calgary are the happiest in Canada and rank in the top-five in North America. The TD Small Business Happiness Index, which examined the attitudes and
behaviours of North American small business owners in a dozen urban
centres, revealed that 89 per cent of Calgary
small business owners are happier owning and running their own business
and 62 per cent would describe themselves as 'very happy'.

"What the TD Small Business Happiness Index demonstrates is that small
business owners enjoy a sense of control and freedom that they don't
generally realize when working for someone else," says Alec Morley, Senior Vice President, Small Business Banking, TD Canada
Trust. "Despite the recent economic downturn and the ongoing challenges
of managing and growing a business, the personal satisfaction small
business owners report illustrates one of the key advantages of owning
your own company."

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What makes Calgary business owners so happy?

Calgary business owners are most likely in North America
to feel a deep personal connection to their employees (97 per cent); many also
feel a close connection to their customers (87 per cent). Ninety-seven per cent
feel a sense of pride and accomplishment from running their own
business. Eighty-seven per cent find time to volunteer or donate money
to local charities or sports teams. 

The benefits of small business ownership

According to the TD Small Business Happiness Index, small business owners in Calgary
think te greatest advantages of owning a small business are making
more money (20 per cent) and being able to set their own schedule (20 per cent). They
also like being their own boss (18 per cent) and being the decision-maker
(17 per cent).

"Small business owners tell us that owning a business has many
advantages, despite the day-to-day challenges that come with running a
company like red tape, property taxes and attracting and retaining
talent," says Morley. "If you have always dreamed of owning your own
company and are interested in getting started, or need assistance in
growing your small business, there are small business banking experts
at TD Canada Trust branches across Canada who can help."

Small business owners work long hours

Owning a small business may offer more freedom to make decisions, but, as many small business owners in Calgary have found, it can also mean working long hours. Forty-three per cent of Calgary business owners report working more than 60 hours a week, another 19 per cent work 50-59 hours a week.

Impact of small business ownership

Even when they're not working, ninety-one per cent of small business owners in Calgary
say that it is hard to stop thinking about their business. They name
recruiting and retaining staff as the greatest challenge of being a
small business owner (31 per cent), followed by managing cash flow (26 per cent), the
responsibility and risk (22 per cent) and the long hours with limited time off
(22 per cent).


Happiest cities for small business owners

The TD Small Business Happiness Index analyzed small business
owners' happiness levels by city. This was calculated by looking at
which cities had the most small business owners who ranked in the top
quartile on the happiness index (they described themselves as a 'very
happy person'). The findings revealed that the top three happiest
cities for small business owners in Canada are:

1. Calgary (30 per cent)

2. Montreal (29 per cent)

3. Ottawa (27 per cent)

Interestingly, the index showed that there are more 'very happy' small
business owners in several U.S. cities than Canadian ones, with Los Angeles (36 per cent) and Boston (31 per cent) ranking ahead of Calgary, which tied with Chicago (30 per cent) and Miami (30 per cent).


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