TD Canada Trust Small Business
Survey National Highlights
- Fifty-seven percent of small business owners in Canada are
optimistic about 2010, saying they think it is going to be a good
year for their business or might be their best year yet.
- Despite the recession, 63% of small business owners say their
business performance was either on, or ahead, of projections.
- How were small business owners impacted by the recession?
- Thirty-one percent lost some business.
- Eighteen percent are in more debt than they were 12 months
- Seven percent were forced to downsize their operations or
- Five percent say they came close to bankruptcy or closing.
- Interestingly, 12% grew their business despite the recession
and 2% grew their business because of the recession.
- The impact of the recession is evident in how small business
owners rate their businesses. In 2009, only 19% of owners gave
their business an A or A+, down from 25% in 2008 and 44% gave their
business a B, down from 50% in 2008. However, the majority of small
business owners say they managed well relative to the competition
with 65% saying they fared as well as their main competitors and
28% saying they fared better.
- For small business owners that gave their business performance
an A or A+, more than half (56%) attributed their good year to the
fact that they were not affected by the recession. This was
followed by innovating with the right products/services at the
right time (19%) and focusing on what they are good at and
outsourcing the rest (19%).
- The impact of the recession is still anticipated to be a big
issue owners will face in 2010, with 30% naming it as the top
challenge for next year, followed by managing cash flow (20%) and
managing growth (16%).
- The top three things that keep small business owners up at
- 31% say the impact of the recession.
- 28% say cash flow (meeting payroll, paying suppliers).
- 8% say hiring/retaining talent.
- In the 2008 survey, small business owners anticipated that
their biggest business challenges in the coming year would be cash
flow (23%) followed by managing growth (20%). In reality, they said
their biggest challenges in 2009 were the impact of the recession
(32%) followed by cash flow (25%) and managing growth (11%).
- Overall, 61% of small businesses in Canada have been negatively
impacted by the recession; 30% notably so from increased debt,
forced downsizing or bankruptcy concerns.
- What does 2010 look like for small business owners?
- Nine percent of small business owners are excited about 2010
saying it might be their best year yet.
- The largest group, at 48%, is optimistic, believing 2010 will
be a good year.
- Twenty-seven percent indicated that they anticipate their
business to be flat.
- Fifteen percent of business owners are concerned, believing
that 2010 will be another tough year and 2% say they are panicked,
not confident that their business can survive another year.
- Reduced operating costs have been the key change over the past
year (40%) for small business owners in Canada, followed by
streamlined processes (16%). 35% said they did not make any