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Survey: small businesses more confident about themselves than economy


April 6, 2009
By CNW Group Ltd.

April 6, 2009 – An Angus Reid Strategies survey of Canadian small businesses commissioned by Staples Canada has determined that small businesses have more confidence in their own operations than they do in the Canadian economy.

An Angus Reid Strategies survey of Canadian small businesses commissioned by Staples Canada has determined that small businesses have more confidence in their own operations than they do in the Canadian economy. Over half (58 per cent) of Canadian small businesses expect to see some improvement in their businesses over the next 6 months.

More than two-thirds (70 per cent) of Canadian small businesses rate their own financial status as good and only a third (30 per cent) as poor. Conversely, two-thirds (66%) of Canadian small businesses consider the economic conditions in Canada to be poor while only a third (32 per cent) think that conditions are good.

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The top three challenges that Canadian small businesses are currently facing are business development/sales (60 per cent), reducing costs/expenses (58 per cent) and setting pricing to maintain profitability (47 per cent). Not too surprisingly, the primary ways that Canadian small businesses have adjusted over the past three months were to cut costs (55 per cent) and expand business offerings (29 per cent).

Recognizing the challenges of Canadian small businesses, Staples has several initiatives to help them compete and maintain legitimacy including Staples BizLaunch Seminars – a series of National 'how-to' sessions aimed at topics pertinent to small businesses.

The Staples Canada Small Business National Quarterly Confidence Poll will be conducted quarterly in order to gauge:
–   Shifting perceptions of the Canadian economy;
–   The self-confidence and optimism of Canadian small businesses; and,
–   Any changes in how Canadian small businesses are adjusting to economic conditions.

"By conducting this poll quarterly we will be able to establish some key indices on the status of Canadian small businesses. We will be able to monitor changes in their confidence in the economy, their view of the business opportunities they have and the things they are doing to adjust to the economy," continued Matyas.

The study was conducted by Angus Reid Strategies through online interviews with owners and executives of small businesses (up to 50 full-time employees) across Canada. 352 interviews were completed in total, from March 13-22, 2009.


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