SMEs in Alberta, Ontario turn to global trade to weather economic storm

    Study shows surge in trade among economic powerhouse provinces

    MISSISSAUGA, ON, May 5 /CNW/ - Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
in Canada's traditional economic powerhouse provinces have turned to global
trade as a means of coping with the global economic downturn, says a recent
UPS study.
    The UPS Business Monitor(SM) Canada conducted by TNS Canadian Facts shows
global trade activity among SMEs in Ontario and Alberta has increased
dramatically between 2007 and 2008.
    Since 2007, sourcing goods from outside of Canada among Ontario SMEs has
increased from 30 to 40 per cent. Meanwhile, Alberta - where SMEs had the
lowest level of global trade in Canada in 2007 - saw an increase in sourcing
from abroad from six per cent in 2007, to 39 per cent in 2008 and an increase
from eight to 23 per cent in selling abroad over the same period.
    "Entrepreneurs in Ontario and Alberta have clearly seen the benefits of
conducting overseas trade and are using it to their advantage during these
difficult economic times," said UPS Canada President Mike Tierney. "But global
trade isn't just a remedy to use during tough times; rather it is a consistent
method of building business to diversify growth opportunities and limit
exposure to downturns."
    The surge in global trade may be fuelling optimism among Ontario SMEs
where only six per cent of respondents predicted a decline in business despite
the faltering economy, while almost half (47 per cent) predict growth in their
near future. Optimism in Alberta is similarly high with only nine per cent of
SMEs predicting a worsening of their economic position and 49 per cent
predicting an improvement. However, Alberta's numbers have changed
significantly since 2007 when zero SMEs foresaw a worsening of their economic
position and 79 per cent predicted an improvement.
    The future predictions are a far cry from those of SMEs in the country's
new "promised land" of the Prairies, where only one per cent of SMEs polled
predicted their economic position would worsen (down from 10 per cent in
2007), while those who predicted their economic position would improve
increased to 59 per cent (up from 54 per cent in 2007).
    "Clearly, there is optimism among SMEs throughout Canada in both
prosperous and economically challenged regions," said Tierney. "That's very
encouraging, and UPS's mission is to help foster even greater confidence among
SMEs by offering them the technological tools and logistical infrastructure
they need to branch out into different parts of the world and explore new
opportunities so that they are less impacted by global recession."
    Despite the nationwide impact of the recession, the percentage of SMEs
predicting a drop in their workforce has risen only among SMEs in Alberta,
Quebec and British Columbia.
    SMEs in Quebec remain leery of global trade with 10 per cent citing it as
being detrimental and 58 per cent (the highest in Canada) preferring to
maintain trade restrictions.
    Despite the recent economic decline in Alberta fuelled by the drop in the
energy sector, the Rocky Mountain province remains the top choice for SMEs in
Canada to establish a new location for their business outside of their home
province, followed by B.C. and the Prairies.
    The UPS Business Monitor(SM) Canada survey was conducted by TNS Canadian
Facts between November 12 and December 3, 2008, and surveyed a total of 505
SMEs across the country. The entire study has a margin of error +/- 4.4 per

    About UPS

    UPS (NYSE:   UPS) is the world's largest package delivery company and a
global leader in supply chain and freight services. With more than a century
of experience in transportation and logistics, UPS is a leading global trade
expert equipped with a broad portfolio of solutions. Headquartered in Atlanta,
GA., UPS serves more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. The company
can be found on the Web at To get UPS news direct, visit

    About TNS

    TNS is a global market information and insight group. Its strategic goal
is to be recognized as the global leader in delivering value-added information
and insights that help its clients make more effective business decisions. TNS
delivers innovative thinking and excellent service across a network of 80
countries. Working in partnership with clients, TNS provides high-quality
information, analysis and insight that improve understanding of consumer
behaviour. TNS is the world's leading provider of customized services,
combining sector knowledge with expertise in the areas of Product Development
& Innovation, Brand & Communications, Stakeholder Management, Retail &
Shopper. TNS is a major supplier of consumer panel, media intelligence and
audience measurement services.
    TNS is the sixth sense of business(TM).

For further information:

For further information: Linda Heredia, APEX Public Relations, (416)
924-4442 ext. 240,; Tara Smith, UPS Canada, (905)

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