Canadian small business owners keep smiling, despite working longer hours

- TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey finds majority say they are 'very happy' - 

TORONTO, July 5, 2011 /CNW/ - Being their own boss. Controlling their destiny. Making more money.  These are some of the reasons why two-thirds of small business owners describe themselves as 'very happy' (66% versus 63% in 2010), according to the 2011 TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey released today.

The survey, which examined the attitudes and behaviours of small business owners in four major Canadian cities, found Montreal small business owners were most likely to say they are "very happy" (70%), followed by Toronto (68%), Vancouver (66%) and Calgary (60%).

"Many people dream of being their own boss and owning their own business one day, so it's no surprise that so many small business owners are happy where they are right now," says Alec Morley, Senior Vice President, Small Business Banking, TD Canada Trust. "In 2011 we saw an increase in the happiness levels of small business owners compared with the previous year. When owners are optimistic, they tend to be more likely to invest in their business by boosting spending and hiring, which is great for their local communities."

What's the key to happiness?

Small business owners say the top benefits of owning their own business are the sense of personal achievement (96%) and being able to help their customers and clients (96%).  Other benefits are being their own boss (94%), being in control of their own destiny (94%) and the opportunity to make more money (85%).

"It's clear there are a number of advantages to running your own company," says Morley. "So whether you're launching a new venture or expanding an existing one, the key ingredients to running a successful small business are planning, knowing your market, loving what you do, and surrounding yourself with experts to help you when the going gets tough. Your bank will have the resources to help: TD, for example, has small business experts on hand to provide you with advice on how to start or grow your own successful small business."

The strong Loonie is impacting small business

The strong dollar may be good news for those fond of shopping south of the border, but Canadian small businesses are singing a different tune as the rising Loonie weakens their exports.  According to the survey, 36% of small businesses that export internationally say the strong dollar is affecting their profits and 22% have already seen a fall in demand from customers abroad.

"The strong Canadian dollar is certainly having an effect on the bottom lines of many small businesses who export their products and services internationally," says Morley. "Small business owners should talk to their bank for strategies on how to manage the strong Loonie in their day-to-day operations and finances. For example, the strong dollar may provide small businesses with better buying power in countries like the US, so now might be a good time for some businesses to purchase new equipment and supplies from outside Canada."

Small business owners still work long hours

Managing work hours continues to be a struggle for small business owners who work an average of 48.7 hours per week, up slightly from 47.8 in 2010. Calgary's small business owners work longer hours on average (52.1 per week) than other cities.   As a result, many small business owners find it difficult to separate their business life from their personal life (60%), and the vast majority admit they can never truly stop thinking about their business (89%).

TD Canada Trust has small business advisors in branches across Canada who can advise customers on starting, launching and growing their business.

ABOUT THE 2011 TD SMALL BUSINESS SURVEY

The 2011 TD Small Business Survey examined the attitudes and behaviours of 402 small business owners in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary.  Small businesses were defined as those companies having 5 to 50 employees.  The research was conducted by Environics Research between April 19 and May 9, 2011.

ABOUT TD CANADA TRUST

TD Canada Trust offers personal and business banking to more than 11.5 million customers. We provide a wide range of products and services from chequing and savings accounts, to credit cards, mortgages and business banking, to credit protection and travel medical insurance, as well as advice on managing everyday finances. TD Canada Trust makes banking comfortable with award-winning service and convenience through 24/7 mobile, internet, telephone and ATM banking, as well as in over 1,100 branches - most open 8 'til late and many now open Sunday. For more information, please visit: www.tdcanadatrust.com. TD Canada Trust is the Canadian retail bank of TD Bank Group, the sixth largest bank in North America.

For further information:

Liz Christiansen / Carolyn Abbass
Paradigm Public Relations
416-203-2223
lchristiansen@paradigmpr.cacabbass@paradigmpr.ca

Barbara Timmins
TD Bank Group
416-307-6498
Barbara.timmins@td.com