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Canadian small businesses expect sales to rise in coming year

By Sara Bedal |

Eighty one per cent of Canadian small business owners are expecting to see their sales increase in the coming year, according to a recent American Express survey.

Driven by this improved confidence in the future, small businesses are planning to hire and spend money in other areas.

Fifty four per cent expect to see their financial position improve, up from 40 per cent at the same time last year.

Thirty eight per cent are planning to hire to help meet the increased workload demands with 53 per cent expecting to add full-time, permanent employees.

Many of the small businesses that are planning to hire are considering other improvements as well:

  • 79 per cent plan to invest in new equipment or other capital expenditures;
  • 57 per cent plan to upgrade their IT; and
  • 39 per cent plan to expand their business's physical space.

As optimism rises, stress caused by the economy also appears to be dropping among small business owners. In March 2009, two-thirds of survey respondents said they were stressed by the economy. Now only 56 per cent feel that way.

"While it is very encouraging to see that the general outlook is bright, we cannot dismiss the fact that this recession is still quite real," said Grosfield, VP & General Manager, Small Business Services, American Express Canada and International.

"The fact that half of respondents are still experiencing a downturn and a small number report that bankruptcy is a real possibility means we have not turned the corner yet. That being said, for most small business owners, confidence is high."

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