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BMO Bank of Montreal

March 29, 2011 15:07 ET

BMO Study: 82 per cent of Alberta's Small Business Owners Are Optimistic About the Economy and their Prospects For Growth

- Alberta small business owners' optimism tops in country

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

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

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - March 11, 2011) - A national study released by BMO Bank of Montreal today reveals that four out of five small business owners in Alberta are optimistic about the economy, and (75 per cent) are currently investing in their business.

"The private sector is at the forefront of employment growth in Alberta, and we can expect Alberta to lead the country in the coming year," said Bill Hogg, District Vice-President, Commercial Banking, Alberta, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Across the spectrum from agribusiness to construction to energy, business owners are very optimistic and are looking to us to help them in making important investments in upgrading their infrastructure and retooling for future growth."

According to BMO Economics, Alberta's economy should grow 3.6 per cent this year - on par with the estimated rate of last year - as high oil prices spur strong investment in the energy sector.

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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