Food In Canada


Small biz smiling through tough times

Canadian small firms happier than last year

TORONTO—Even a soaring dollar and lack of work-life balance can’t dampen the spirits of Canada’s small businesses, says a new survey by TD Bank.

It found 66 per cent of small business owners are “very happy” —a three per cent jump from last year.

Their top reasons for being so upbeat were a sense of personal accomplishment from running their own business and being able to help their clients.

Being their own boss, controlling their destiny, and the chance to make more money also put smiles on their faces.

“It’s clear there are a number of advantages to running your own company,” says Alec Morley, Senior Vice President, Small Business Banking, TD Canada Trust.

“Whether you’re launching a new venture or expanding an existing one, the key ingredients to running a successful small business are planning, knowing your market, loving what you do, and surrounding yourself with experts to help you when the going gets tough,” Morley says.

For most, the going is already tough.

Owners are working longer hours than last year, an average of 48.7 hours per week.

Calgary owners put in the most time on average—52.1 hours a week. That could be why they were the least happy compared to owners in other major cities.

Montrealers were the cheeriest, followed by Torontonians, and Vancouverites.

Regardless of geography, the majority agreed it’s difficult to separate work from their personal lives. A whopping 89 per cent confessed they can’t ever truly stop thinking about their business.

The strong dollar has been another challenge for 36 per cent of businesses that export. Nearly a quarter said they’ve seen a drop in demand from non-Canadian clients.

Despite this, Morley says there are still opportunities in today’s challenging environment.

“The strong dollar may provide small businesses with better buying power in countries like the US, so now might be a good time for some businesses to purchase new equipment and supplies from outside Canada,” he says.