Canadian internal trade red tape a burden on half of SMEs

Yet three-quarters conduct business in other provinces, one-quarter plan to expand in the next five years

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Oct. 7, 2014 /CNW/ - According to UPS Canada survey data released today, 48 per cent of small and medium-sized enterprises believe cross-provincial trade restrictions and red tape inhibit their business growth. Despite the hurdles, 73 per cent conducted business with customers or partners in other provinces. Recent discussions to modernize Canada's internal trade would further enable the remaining quarter of SMEs not currently doing business in other provinces to do so in the next five years.

The UPS Canada Small Business Challenges survey is the second of two parts. Along with general business performance challenges, the first part examined e-commerce trends and supply chain management.

"We continue to see growth within our country's borders, fueled by market opportunity and customer demand," says Paul Gaspar, director of small business, UPS Canada. "Our recent expansion in western Canada is a bellwether of the business growth in the region. Making interprovincial and international trade less cumbersome would be a significant benefit to our customers and small business in general. Our global network and reputation for reliability helps businesses leverage trade opportunities as they grow within their borders and expand beyond their comfort zone."

In fact, a UPS Leger survey from earlier this year showed more than four in five Canadian businesses see global trade as a key competitive advantage for Canada. Approximately 84 per cent believe trade diversification beyond North America is necessary.

Small business owners indicate 2014 has been a good year with 20 per cent exceeding annual targets and just over half are meeting their goals. Success was attributed to a new product, service or innovation at 42 per cent, with almost one-quarter claiming expansion into other provinces.

Furthermore, in UPS research earlier this year overall businesses were more likely to exceed their growth benchmarks with a supply chain strategy in place (24.6%), rather than without (16.3%).

UPS customer PÜR Gum sells their innovative aspartame-free product across Canada and around the world. "We're eager to sell our product to distributors around the world," says Jay Klein, CEO and founder of PÜR Gum. "Working with a partner to improve our supply chain helped us expand our reach and consequently realize the need for greater capacity. Just recently we moved into a new warehouse which is approximately 25 times larger in size. We knew that a supply chain strategy was necessary for our growth and having the right partner has made all the difference."

Other important findings from the UPS Canada Small Business Challenges survey include:

  • Among businesses failing to meet their targets, staffing costs/costs of business inputs is the top factor listed as a restriction to growth (64%)
  • 50 per cent of businesses claim that a lack of talent and skills is having a negative impact on their business including the following:
    • Skilled trades people (34%
    • Marketing (31%)
    • Digital and mobile expertise (29%)
    • Sales (28%)

"Four out of 10 businesses that do not have a supply chain strategy believe their business is not large enough to warrant one," adds Paul Gaspar. "Of those who do have a supply chain strategy, 90 per cent agree that it assists growth and helps them stay ahead of the competition. You are never too small to have a supply chain strategy. With the right partners, businesses can shift the momentum of their growth exponentially whether to export inter-provincially or internationally."

UPS Canada offers innovative Small Business Solutions to help build out SMEs supply chain strategies and realize the potential for efficiencies. Businesses registered on the UPS Small Business Program receive a 20 per cent discount on shipping.

UPS Canada also celebrates Canada's over 1.1 million small- and medium-sized businesses during Small Business Week taking place October 19-25, 2014. Watch for more SME success stories, including a PÜR Gum video case study, on the #UPSSME

This survey was completed on-line between August 11 to August 22, 2014 using Leger's online panel, LegerWeb, with a sample of 302. Individuals working for, or running, a business that currently spends a minimum of $5,000 annually on shipping were interviewed. Only those at a director or senior manager level or above qualified. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/- 5.7%, 19 times out of 20.

About UPS
UPS (NYSE: UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including the transportation of packages and freight; the facilitation of international trade, and the deployment of advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. The company can be found on the web at® and its corporate blog can be found at To get UPS news direct, visit

SOURCE: UPS Canada Ltd.

For further information: Robyn van Teunenbroek, UPS Canada, 905-676-1708,, @UPS_Canada; Katie Boland, APEX Public Relations, 416-934-2121,


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890