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Canadian SME's reluctant to use e-business

TORONTO The e-business gap between the US and Canada is shrinking, but Canadian small business owners are lagging far behind their American counterparts when it comes to embracing the digital tools necessary to give their businesses a competitive advantage.

The findings are a part of a research study conducted by an e-Business Acceleration team led by Vice President, John Wetmore.

"We're pleased and encouraged to see that the e-Business gap continues to narrow," said Wetmore. "But small Canadian businesses in general tend to be more reluctant to embrace e-Business for sophisticated applications such as supply chain management or order processing and fulfillment. The challenge is that, in the global economy, having a web site is not enough."

U.S. small businesses reported that they expected 17 per cent of their 2001 revenues to come via the Internet, compared to just over 3 per cent for Canadian small businesses; U.S. medium businesses said 6.5 per cent compared to 3 per cent for Canadian medium businesses; and U.S. large businesses said 5 per cent compared to just 1 per cent for Canadian large businesses.

Wetmore added that web access and web sites are considered to be standard business tools, just as the telephone has been for decades. He encouraged small-to-medium sized enterprises to integrate more sophisticated online tools into their businesses in order to compete in the global marketplace and reap the rewards that come with running a more effective business.

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