BMO Financial Group
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BMO Financial Group
BMO Bank of Montreal

BMO Bank of Montreal

October 28, 2014 06:00 ET

Investing in Human Capital: Canadian Small Businesses Set Their Priorities for 2015-BMO Survey

- One-quarter intend to invest more in their business in 2015

- Fewer entrepreneurs intend to invest in equipment upgrades compared to 2013

- Business owners in Ontario and Atlantic Canada are the most likely to invest in employee training

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 28, 2014) - Looking ahead to 2015, one-quarter (25 per cent) of Canadian entrepreneurs plan to invest more in their business, with a heavy emphasis on employee training and boosting their company's online presence. BMO Bank of Montreal released findings from its Small Business Banking Report today to cap off Small Business Week in Canada.

The survey, conducted by Pollara, also revealed noticeable differences in where entrepreneurs intend to invest next year:

  • More than half (58 per cent) of business owners intend to upgrade their equipment, representing a 25 per cent drop compared to last year
  • Business owners indicated they will instead invest more heavily in employee training and their online presence (49 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively)
  • Nearly half (45 per cent) will invest on marketing the businesses' products or services
  • An additional one-third (30 per cent) of entrepreneurs will make changes to their products or services offered

"Canadian business owners have indicated they are more confident about the state of the economy and their business prospects heading into 2015," said Steve Murphy, Head, Canadian Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal. "This boost in confidence had a positive impact on entrepreneurs' investment plans, with the majority of business owners indicating they will be investing the same amount or more in their company next year."

Investment Intentions Across Regions

  • Business owners in Ontario and Atlantic Canada are the most likely to invest in employee training (55 per cent and 52 per cent, respectively)
  • Business owners in Atlantic Canada are the most likely to invest in upgrading their equipment (68 per cent)
  • British Columbian business owners are the most likely to invest in their businesses' online presence
Total Atlantic QC ON Prairies AB B.C.
Invest in equipment / system upgrades 59% 68% 46% 63% 61% 59% 63%
Invest in employee training 49% 52% 42% 55% 47% 47% 49%
Invest on how the business markets products / services 45% 39% 33% 49% 51% 42% 53%
Invest in businesses' online presence 40% 45% 28% 43% 46% 37% 50%
Invest in making changes to products / services 30% 36% 29% 26% 24% 34% 37%

Business Financing for Entrepreneurs

The survey also revealed a number of financing options on which business owners are dependent to run their business, including:

  • More than half (51 per cent) rely on loans from financial institutions
  • More than one-third (39 per cent) of small business owners rely on business credit cards;
  • One-quarter (24 per cent) rely on personal credit cards;
  • An additional 19 per cent will dip into their personal savings;
  • One-in-ten (10 per cent) will look to an investor for financial assistance; and
  • Seven per cent will seek help from friends and family.

Mr. Murphy added, "We encourage business leaders to drop by their local branch to speak with a financial representative to learn about how we can help provide options to aid in financing their business needs and goals."

Results cited above come from a Pollara telephone survey with 502 Canadian business owners, conducted between August 11th and 28th, 2014. The margin of error for this survey is +/- 4.4 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services organization based in North America. The bank offers a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers. BMO Financial Group had more than $586 billion in total assets and approximately 47,000 employees at July 31, 2014.

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