BMO Bank of Montreal

BMO Bank of Montreal

April 06, 2011 09:00 ET

BMO Small Business Lending In British Columbia Reached $4.8 Billion in 2010

- BMO Study Finds 68 per cent of Small Business Owners in B.C. View Access to Credit as an Important Determinant in Choosing Their Bank

- BMO Has Hired 60 New Small Business-Banking Experts in British Columbia

NANAIMO, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - April 6, 2011) - BMO Bank of Montreal is helping support the business-led recovery across Canada, with small and medium-sized business lending in British Columbia reaching $4.8 billion in 2010. The majority (68 per cent) of small business owners in B.C. cite access to credit as an important factor when looking for a bank to take care of their business needs, according to a new Leger Marketing survey released today.

Speaking from Nanaimo, Frank Techar, President and CEO, Personal and Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal, said: "Entrepreneurs across the country have told us that having access to funding is a key element when it comes to meeting their business needs. BMO has been there for small business owners in both good and challenging times, and through our increased lending in B.C., we will continue our support as they lead this economic recovery."

In 2010, more than $4.8 billion dollars in business financing was authorized to over 29,000 small and medium-sized businesses in B.C., and more than $29 billion dollars was authorized across Canada.

With small businesses accounting for approximately 30 per cent of GDP and a growing driver of economic activity, BMO recently announced the national expansion of a successful small business banking trial launched last year in B.C.

"Small business owners have unique needs and want to talk to someone who not only understands their business but also their personal needs," said Derral Moriyama, Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Entrepreneurs in British Columbia are looking to grow their business, invest in innovation and open new markets. Last year BMO was there for them with additional capital, and this year we are stepping up with new experts that can help them with the advice and solutions they need," added Mr. Moriyama.

The Leger survey also showed that women small business owners are more likely to say that access to credit is important in deciding who to bank with (84 per cent versus 74 per cent men), and entrepreneurs who use social media as part of their business plans are more likely than those business owners who do not, to consider access to credit as an important factor (84 per cent versus 70 per cent).

According to BMO Economics, after a couple of dry years, short-term business credit has shown a great deal of improvement and has started 2011 on a very strong note. In the six months to January, credit has perked up 0.2 per cent annualized, the first positive reading since early 2009.

The online survey was conducted by Leger Marketing between February 1 – 25, 2011, using a sample of 507 Canadian small business owners. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of ±4.4 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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