STAPLES Canada Survey Shows Canadian Small Businesses More Confident About Themselves Than Canadian Economy

    Optimism up as well with more than half expecting business growth in the
    next 6 months

    TORONTO, April 6 /CNW/ - An Angus Reid Strategies survey of Canadian
small businesses commissioned by STAPLES Canada has determined that small
businesses have more confidence in their own operations than they do in the
Canadian economy. Over half (58%) of Canadian small businesses expect to see
some improvement in their businesses over the next 6 months.
    More than two-thirds (70%) of Canadian small businesses rate their own
financial status as good and only a third (30%) as poor. Conversely,
two-thirds (66%) of Canadian small businesses consider the economic conditions
in Canada to be poor while only a third (32%) think that conditions are good.
    "The results of the STAPLES Canada Small Business National Quarterly
Confidence Poll are very thought provoking. Not so much that there is
scepticism when it comes to the Canadian economy, but that there is such
optimism for small business potential," said Steve Matyas, president of
STAPLES Canada. "At STAPLES, we believe that much can be learned from what
small businesses see as challenges and potential opportunities because we
recognize that many of them are very adaptable during the current economic
    "Small business owners tend to be able to react quickly to economic
conditions, have largely cash flow positive businesses and in general a
'can-do' attitude" says Brian Coupland, Director of Small Business Strategy,
STAPLES Canada. "This adaptability not only refers to fiscal matters, but to
the overall strategic business model that a small business operates from-such
as finding new and unique revenue streams and creative ways to cut costs."
    The top three challenges that Canadian small businesses are currently
facing are business development/sales (60%), reducing costs/expenses (58%) and
setting pricing to maintain profitability (47%). Not too surprisingly, the
primary ways that Canadian small businesses have adjusted over the past three
months were to cut costs (55%) and expand business offerings (29%).
    Recognizing the challenges of Canadian small businesses, STAPLES has
several initiatives to help them compete and maintain legitimacy including
STAPLES BizLaunch Seminars-a series of National 'how-to' sessions aimed at
topics pertinent to small businesses.
    The STAPLES Canada Small Business National Quarterly Confidence Poll will
be conducted quarterly in order to gauge:

    -   Shifting perceptions of the Canadian economy;
    -   The self-confidence and optimism of Canadian small businesses; and,
    -   Any changes in how Canadian small businesses are adjusting to
        economic conditions.

    "By conducting this poll quarterly we will be able to establish some key
indices on the status of Canadian small businesses. We will be able to monitor
changes in their confidence in the economy, their view of the business
opportunities they have and the things they are doing to adjust to the
economy," continued Matyas.
    The study was conducted by Angus Reid Strategies through online
interviews with owners and executives of small businesses (up to 50 full-time
employees) across Canada. 352 interviews were completed in total, from March
13-22, 2009.
    For more information on how STAPLES Canada can help small businesses,
please visit and click on Business Services.

    About STAPLES Business Depot

    Founded in Toronto in 1991, STAPLES Business Depot is Canada's largest
supplier of office supplies, business machines, office furniture and business
services for the small business and home office customer. The company is an
everyday low price retailer, operating stores in every province across Canada
under the banners STAPLES(R) Business Depot(TM) and Bureau en Gros(MC). The
company employs over 13,500 associates serving customers through more than 280
office superstores, catalogue, and e-commerce. STAPLES(R) Business
Depot(TM)/Bureau en Gros(MC) is committed to making shopping easy by offering
customers three ways to shop: online, by catalogue and in-store. More
information is available at

    About Staples Inc.

    Staples, the world's largest office products company, is committed to
making it easy for customers to buy a wide range of office products, including
supplies, technology, furniture, and business services. With 2008 sales of $23
billion and 91,000 associates worldwide, Staples serves businesses of all
sizes and consumers in 27 countries throughout North and South America,
Europe, Asia and Australia. In July 2008, Staples acquired Corporate Express,
one of the world's leading suppliers of office products to businesses and
institutions. Staples invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and is
headquartered outside Boston. More information about Staples (Nasdaq:   SPLS) is
available at

For further information:

For further information: Sarah Daly, Lisa Richards, Veritas
Communications, (416) 955-4583, (416) 955-4586,,; Rachel Swiednicki, Public Relations Specialist,
STAPLES/Bureau en Gros, (905) 737-1147 x 2714,

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