BMO Bank of Montreal
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BMO Bank of Montreal

March 12, 2011 06:00 ET

REPEAT-BMO Study: 75 per cent of Ontario's Small Business Owners Are Optimistic About the Economy and Their Prospects for Growth

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

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

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 12, 2011) - A national study released by BMO Bank of Montreal today reveals that three out of four small business owners in Ontario are optimistic about the economy, and 79 per cent are currently investing in their business.

"Our commercial customers are generally optimistic about their business prospects, and there is confidence that consumer spending and business investments will continue to support stable growth throughout 2011," said Mike Bonner, Vice-President, Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal. "While interest rates, the loonie and the U.S. economy remain top issues for Ontario businesses, the availability of credit, and attractive investment opportunities add to a relatively positive outlook in Ontario's manufacturing sector," added Bonner.

According to BMO Economics, Ontario's economy is expected to grow 2.9 per cent in 2011 - comparable to last year's estimated rate - with exports benefitting from a pickup in U.S. demand, especially for automobiles.

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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