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Canadian small businesses confidence in economy growing

By Mario Cywinski |

Canadian small businesses are exceeding their own expectations, finds a new survey.

Forty per cent of small business owners have more confidence in the current economy then they did in the last quarter, the Staples Canada Small Business National Quarterly Index conducted by Angus Reid Strategies found.

Over seven in 10 Canadian small businesses said their business position has held steady or improved in the past three months, an increase of 16 per cent over the last quarter.

"While we must remain cautiously optimistic, this trend towards increased confidence in, and outlook for, both the Canadian economy and improvement by small businesses is certainly a positive sign," says Citibank Canada economist Dana Peterson. "The entrepreneurial nature of small businesses means that they are often better able to react quickly to changing economic conditions. Because of this we often see that they are better at withstanding economic turbulence and can serve as harbingers for change on a bigger scale."

Different companies have been able to cope with the economy in different ways. Small business owners cited the primary means of coping as:

  • Cutting operational costs (49 per cent);
  • Expanding scope of business offerings (34 per cent);
  • Expanding skill set (34 per cent).
  • "Not only is there optimism among Canadian small businesses towards the Canadian economy, these businesses have seen a respectable degree of success during turbulent economic times," says Steve Matyas, president of STAPLES Canada.

    Looking towards the future, 70 per cent of Canadian small businesses expect an improvement to their business during the next six months, with six per cent expecting a decline. Conversely, 12 per cent see the Canadian economy going down over the next three months.

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