BMO Bank of Montreal
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BMO Bank of Montreal

March 29, 2011 15:07 ET

BMO Study: 80 per cent of British Columbia Small Business Owners Are Optimistic About the Economy and their Prospects For Growth

- 89 per cent of small business owners in British Columbia see the economy remaining at its current level of growth or expanding

- 85 per cent also believe their own business will grow or remain the same in 2011

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 11, 2011) - A national study released by BMO Bank of Montreal today reveals that four out of five small business owners in British Columbia are optimistic about the economy, and 76 per cent are currently investing in their businesses.

"Small business owners are generally optimistic about their business prospects, and there is a growing confidence that consumer spending and business investments will become a driver of growth and job creation this year," said Derral Moriyama, Senior Vice-President, Commercial, Greater Vancouver District, BMO Bank of Montreal. "In particular, as the construction sector, forestry, and international trade sectors move forward, we see a growing customer interest in upgrading their infrastructure and retooling their business processes for growth," added Moriyama.

According to BMO Economics, British Columbia's economy is expected to grow 3.4 per cent this year, driven by strong demand for commodities and a pickup in U.S. demand. However, the high-priced housing market will likely slow in the face of higher interest rates and tighter mortgage insurance rules.

National Survey findings:

  • Three out of four Canadian small business owners are optimistic about the economy, and (76 per cent) are currently investing in their business.
  • 86 per cent of entrepreneurs see the economy remaining at its current level of growth or expanding, and 89 per cent of small business owners believe their own business will grow or remain the same in 2011.
  • 44 per cent of male Canadian small business owners believe the economy will grow this year, compared to 29 per cent of women.
  • 42 per cent of male Canadian small business owners believe their business will grow this year, compared to 39 per cent of women. However twice as many male business owners believe that their business will shrink in 2011 - 10 per cent compared to 5 per cent for female owners.
  • 93 per cent of small business owners in the retail, commercial, and business service sectors believe economy will grow or remain the same this year, compared to 78 per cent in the travel/tourism and arts and culture sectors.
  • The larger the business, as measured by number of employees and revenue, the more optimistic their owner's outlook on the economy.

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%, 19 times out of 20.

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