BMO Bank of Montreal

BMO Bank of Montreal

April 06, 2011 07:00 ET

BMO Small Business Lending Reached $773 Million in Manitoba and More Than $1 Billion in Saskatchewan in 2010

BMO Study Finds 63 per cent of Small Business Owners in Manitoba and Saskatchewan View Access to Credit as an Important Determinant in Choosing Their Bank

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA and REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - April 6, 2011) - BMO Bank of Montreal is helping support the business-led recovery in the Prairies, with small and medium-sized business lending reaching $773 million in Manitoba and more than $1 billion in Saskatchewan in 2010. Small businesses account for approximately 30 per cent of GDP and are a growing driver of economic activity.

"Across the Prairies, there is a confident optimism that is translating into demand by small businesses for credit as they look to enhance their productivity, invest in innovation and grow their businesses," said Robert Hayes, Senior Vice President, Prairies Division, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Their needs are two-fold; first they want their banker to be someone who understands their business and the environment in which they operate, and second, be able to provide clear advice and offer practical solutions on their personal banking. These new small business bankers will meet those special needs and help us exceed our customers expectations," added Mr. Hayes.

In 2010, more than $773 million dollars in business financing was authorized to 5,119 small and medium-sized businesses in Manitoba and in Saskatchewan more than $1 billion dollars was authorized to 9,156 small and medium-sized businesses. Across Canada more than $29 billion dollars in business financing was authorized.

Results from a new BMO Bank of Montreal survey also found that 82 per cent of entrepreneurs in Manitoba/Saskatchewan are optimistic about the economy, 67 per cent are investing in their business, and 63 per cent cite access to credit as an important factor when looking for a bank to take care of their business needs. 

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 businesses who do not use social media, 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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