Canadians show their love for small business: RBC survey

Majority are willing to pay more to support small business in their community

TORONTO, July 31, 2012 /CNW/ - An overwhelming majority of Canadians (94 per cent) believe that small businesses play a critical role in the growth of the economy and almost nine-in-10 (88 per cent) view them as vital job creators, according to an RBC/Ipsos Reid survey.

"The success and vitality of Canadian small businesses have played an important part in Canada faring well through these difficult economic times," said Mike Michell, national director, Small Business, RBC. "It's great to see that most Canadians view small businesses as the lifeblood of their communities and are proud to give them their support."

In fact, 61 per cent of Canadians say they would pay more for a product or service in order to support a small business in their community and eight-in-10 (83 per cent) say they support small businesses in their community by doing business with them or promoting them. For those who show their loyalty, 72 per cent say the reason is simply that they like to support owners who live and do work in their community.

"This type of consumer insight can help small businesses find the success they're seeking," added Michell. "For example, small businesses should capitalize on local support by becoming more active in their community, highlighting their local roots and asking their best customers to promote them."

The RBC survey also found that, when it comes to deciding which small businesses Canadians would support in their community, three-in-four (73 per cent) said word of mouth referrals was a factor, 68 per cent said it was the location of the business, while visibility in the community was the determining factor for half (51 per cent).

About RBC/Ipsos Reid survey
These are the findings of an RBC/Ipsos Reid survey conducted from May 10 to 15, 2012. The survey was conducted online via Ipsos Reid's national I-Say Consumer Panel to 1,010 Canadians. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100 per cent response rate would have an estimated margin of error of ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in Canada been polled.

About RBC
Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) and its subsidiaries operate under the master brand name RBC. We are Canada's largest bank as measured by assets and market capitalization, and among the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North America's leading diversified financial services companies, and provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance, corporate and investment banking and investor services on a global basis. We employ approximately 80,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 15 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 51 other countries. For more information, please visit rbc.com.

SOURCE: RBC

For further information:

Margie McNeil, RBC, 905-606-1425, margie.mcneil@rbc.com
Angela Gordon, RBC, 905-816-5650, angela.gordon@rbc.com