Despite recession, majority of
Ontario’s small business owners optimistic about
TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey reveals positive outlook
despite negative impact of recession
TORONTO, ON, October 8, 2009
– Increased debt. Downsizing. Lost business. The
recession took its toll on small business owners in Ontario. Yet,
despite the fact that the majority of Ontario’s small
business owners were negatively affected by the recession, 55% are
excited or optimistic about 2010, saying they believe it will be a
good year for their business. These are the findings of the second
annual TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey which was conducted to
better understand the impact of the recession on small
“Small business owners in Ontario
told us that the recession was their biggest challenge in 2009 and
34% anticipate it will continue to be the top challenge in
2010,” says Christine Morris, Vice President, Sales and
Service, Business Banking at TD Canada Trust. “Despite
the challenges, Ontario’s small business owners managed
well through a tough economy with 57% saying their business
performance was either on, or ahead, of
How were Ontario’s small business
owners impacted by the recession? Thirty-two percent lost some
business, 21% are in more debt than they were 12 months ago (vs 18%
nationally), 7% were forced to downsize their operations or
staffing and 6% say they came close to bankruptcy or closing.
Interestingly, 11% 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.
The impact of the recession is still
anticipated to be a big issue Ontario’s small business
owners will face in 2010, with 34% naming it as the top challenge
for next year, followed by managing cash flow (21%) and managing
“Whether it is finding solutions
for better cash flow management or dealing with increased debt,
there are many resources available for small businesses. Small
business owners in Ontario are invited to visit their local TD
branch to talk to a Small Business Advisor -- we can
help,” says Morris.
Small Business Week, October 18 to 24, is the
perfect opportunity to visit a TD branch and learn more about
business financing, business plans, and how to start, grow and
sustain a small business.
What does 2010 look like
for Canada’s 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.
What keeps small
business owners up at night?
When small business owners were asked what one thing about their
business they think about more than anything else, 31% said it is
the impact of the recession, followed by managing cash flow
(meeting payroll, paying suppliers) at 28%. These were followed by
hiring and retaining talent (8%) and access to credit
projected and actual
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
What changes did small
business owners make in the past year?
Reducing operating costs was the most cited change (40%) that small
business owners made in 2009. This was followed by streamlining
processes (16%) and faster delivery of product and services (9%).
Interestingly, 35% of small business owners made no changes to
their company in the past year.
sponsorship of Small Business Week
Small Business Week is a nation-wide celebration of
entrepreneurship, October 18 to 24, 2009, organized by the Business
Development Bank of Canada (BDC) to pay tribute to Canadian small
business. With the endorsement of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce,
organized events such as conferences, trade fairs and seminars
provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs to network and exchange
ideas to enhance business growth. TD is a sponsor of Small Business
Week and to recognize its small business customers and support
businesses in the local community, TD is sponsoring SOHO (small
office, home office) conferences in Toronto and Vancouver and
sponsoring regional events with chambers of commerce and business
associations across the country. Visit or call your local branch
Events TD is sponsoring in Ontario
||Date of Event
|Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade
||Business Excellence Awards
|Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce
|London Community Small Business Centre, Inc.
||Bridges to Better Business
|Owen Sound & District Chamber of Commerce
||Business Excellence Awards Gala
If small business owners are not able to
attend events, they are encouraged to participate in one of TD
Canada Trust’s webinar workshops. A list of the workshops
can be found at www.tdcanadatrust.com/smallbusiness/webinars.jsp.
The next webinar on Unique Selling Proposition is on October 22,
2009 at 12:00 ET.
About the TD Canada
Trust Small Business Survey
The TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey polled small business
owners from across the country to understand the impact of the
recession on small businesses. The survey was conducted by Angus
Reid Strategies from September 8 to 14, 2009 with English and
French speaking small business owners (defined as business owners
with fewer than 20 employees) across Canada using the Angus Reid
Forum. The sample size included 1002 men and women.
About TD Bank Financial
The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively
known as TD Bank Financial Group. TD Bank Financial Group is the
sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves
approximately 17 million customers in four key businesses operating
in a number of locations in key financial centres around the globe:
Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Canada Trust
and TD Insurance; Wealth Management, including TD Waterhouse and an
investment in TD Ameritrade; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking
through TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank; and Wholesale
Banking, including TD Securities. TD Bank Financial Group also
ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms,
with more than 5.5 million online customers. TD Bank Financial
Group had CDN$545 billion in assets on July 31, 2009. The
Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD"
on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.
For further information,
Carolyn Abbass / Karen McCullough
Paradigm Public Relations
TD Bank Financial Group