BMO Bank of Montreal
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BMO Bank of Montreal

April 06, 2011 09:00 ET

REPEAT: BMO Small Business Lending in Ontario Reached More Than $11 Billion in 2010

- BMO Study Finds 80 per cent of Small Business Owners in Ontario Consider Access to Credit as an Important Determinant Choosing Their Bank

- BMO to Add 150 New Small Business Banking Experts Across Canada in 2011

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 6, 2011) - BMO Bank of Montreal is helping support the business-led recovery in Canada, with small and medium-sized business lending in Ontario reaching more than $11 billion in 2010. With small businesses accounting for approximately 30 per cent of GDP and a growing driver of economic activity, BMO also announced the hiring of 150 new small business banking experts across the country.

"Small business owners want advice from people who understand their businesses and who can also serve their personal banking needs," said Susan Brown, Senior Vice President, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Entrepreneurs in Ontario are resilient and cautiously optimistic. They are looking to their banks for advice, as well as for capital, as they work to adapt to a new economic environment. Many are strategically investing in innovation and productivity improvements, and diversifying into new markets," added Ms. Brown.

In 2010, more than $11 billion dollars in business financing was authorized to over 86,000 small and medium-sized businesses in Ontario, and more than $29 billion was authorized across Canada.

Results from a new BMO Bank of Montreal survey also found that 74 per cent of entrepreneurs in Ontario are optimistic about the economy, 79 per cent are investing in their business, and 80 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 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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