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2010 to be a good year for B.C.


October 8, 2009
By Canadian Vending

Oct. 8, 2009 – B.C.'s small business owners feel the worst of the recession is over and predict 2010 to be a good year.

Oct. 8, 2009 – What do
British Columbia's small business owners say was their biggest
challenge in 2009? Not surprisingly, the recession tops the list.
However, 53% of B.C. small business owners also say they are excited or
optimistic about 2010 according to the second annual TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey which was conducted to better understand the impact of the recession on small businesses.

"The optimism expressed by B.C.'s small business owners is a clear
indication that most feel the worst of the recession is behind them,"
says Norm Attridge, Regional Sales Manager, TD Canada
Trust. "This is reinforced by the fact that 65% of B.C.'s small
business owners say their business performance in the past year was
either on, or ahead, of projections."

How were small business owners in B.C. impacted by the recession?
Thirty-nine percent lost some business (vs 31% nationally), 13% are in
more debt than they were 12 months ago (vs 18% nationally), 5% were
forced to downsize their operations or staffing and 7% say they came
close to bankruptcy or closing. Interestingly, 14% grew their business
despite the recession and 3% grew their business because of the
recession.

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The impact of the recession is evident in how Canadian small
business owners rate their businesses. In 2009, only 19% of owners gave
their business an A or A+, down from 25% in 2008 and 44% gave their
business a B, down from 50% in 2008. However, the majority of small
business owners say they managed well relative to the competition with
65% saying they fared as well as their main competitors and 28% saying
they fared better.

The impact of the recession is still anticipated to be a big issue
B.C. owners will face in 2010, with 30% naming it as the top challenge
for next year, followed by managing cash flow (20%) and managing growth
(16%).

"B.C. small business owners rate work/life balance as the best thing
about owning their own business," says Attridge. "Business owners that
are having challenges finding that balance can visit their local TD
branch and meet with a Small Business Advisor – we can help with
everything from streamlining processes to cash flow management."

Small Business Week, October 18 to 24, is the perfect
opportunity to visit a TD branch and learn more about business
financing, business plans, and how to start, grow and sustain a small
business.

 

 

What does 2010 look like for Canada's small business owners?

Nine percent of small business owners are excited about 2010
saying it might be their best year yet. The largest group, at 48%, is
optimistic, believing 2010 will be a good year. Twenty-seven percent
indicated that they anticipate their business to be flat. Fifteen
percent of business owners are concerned, believing that 2010 will be
another tough year and 2% say they are panicked, not confident that
their business can survive another year.

 

What keeps small business owners up at night?

 

When small business owners were asked what one thing about their
business they think about more than anything else, 31% said it is the
impact of the recession, followed by managing cash flow (meeting
payroll, paying suppliers) at 28%. These were followed by hiring and
retaining talent (8%) and access to credit (5%).

 

2009 challenges: projected and actual

 

In the 2008 survey, small business owners anticipated that their
biggest business challenges in the coming year would be cash flow (23%)
followed by managing growth (20%). In reality, they said their biggest
challenges in 2009 were the impact of the recession (32%) followed by
cash flow (25%) and managing growth (11%).

 

What changes did small business owners make in the past year?

 

Reducing operating costs was the most cited change (40%) that
small business owners made in 2009. This was followed by streamlining
processes (16%) and faster delivery of product and services (9%).
Interestingly, 35% of small business owners made no changes to their
company in the past year.