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- TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey reveals the top challenges and rewards experienced by small business owners - TORONTO, Oct. 16 /CNW/ - Making payroll. Suppliers' bills. Rising fuel costs. According to the TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey, these are the top concerns faced by Quebec's small business owners. The first TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey polled 1,000 small business owners from across Canada to uncover their biggest challenges in order to help provide relevant advice for entrepreneurs. The survey found that more than a quarter of Quebec respondents lose sleep worrying about cash flow while 23% say rising fuel costs is their biggest concern. "For a better night's sleep, we recommend that Quebec small business owners visit their local bank and meet with a small business advisor about managing cash flow," says Gaston Trepanier, Regional Sales Manager, TD Canada Trust. "Small Business Week, October 19th to 25th, is the perfect opportunity to visit a TD branch and learn more about business financing and how to start - and grow - a small business." Despite concerns about cash flow, 2008 is proving to be a good year for small business owners. Eighty per cent of Quebec small business owners graded their business' performance as an A+, A or B, indicating that they have had solid growth or that they did as well as they expected. Sixteen per cent gave their business a C, saying that they did not have the year they planned and only 5% gave themselves a failing grade. For small business owners that gave their business an A or A+, 44% of respondents said that what made 2008 such a great year was focusing on what they are good at and outsourcing the rest. This was followed by innovating with the right products and services at the right time (28%). Looking ahead to 2009, Quebec's small business owners anticipate that the biggest business challenges will be similar to what they worry about now: managing growth (25%) followed by rising fuel costs (20%). Cash flow was the third most common challenge cited (16%). Owning your own business has its benefits The best thing about owning a business, according to Quebec's small business owners, is controlling their own destiny (38%) and having a better work-life balance (28%). Only 7% of respondents said that making more money is the best thing about owning their own business. Advice from Quebec small business owners The top piece of advice from small business owners for those wanting to start their own business is to diversify their services more. Twenty-four per cent of owners said they would have diversified their services more if they started their business today. The second change they would have made was to raise more capital before starting (22%). Small business owners across Canada who have been in business less than a year are most likely to say that they should have raised more capital (41%), whereas business owners who have been in business 11 or more years, say that they would diversify services more (22%). Small business and the environment The environment is a top priority for Quebec's small business owners. In fact, 76% report that it is important to run an environmentally responsible business. The biggest barriers to adopting more environmentally friendly measures are cost (34%) and lack of credible industry providers (28%). Small business and technology The TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey also asked business owners about their views on technology. Fifty-three per cent of Quebec respondents say that email is often a more effective communication tool than using the phone. Seven per cent of respondents are so dependent on technology that they would rather have a root canal than give up their BlackBerry. About TD's sponsorship of Small Business Week Small Business Week is a nation-wide celebration of entrepreneurship, October 19th to 25th, 2008, 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, TD is conducting a national advertising campaign, 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. To see events that TD is sponsoring, visit As well, TD will host in-branch customer appreciation days at more than 280 branches staffed by a small business advisor. About the TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey The TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey polled small business owners from across the country to uncover their biggest challenges and to help provide advice for entrepreneurs interested in starting a business. The survey was conducted by Angus Reid Strategies from September 4 to 8, 2008 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 1003 men and women. About TD Bank Financial Group The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Financial Group. TD Bank Financial Group is the seventh 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; Wealth Management, including TD Waterhouse and an investment in TD Ameritrade; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking through TD Banknorth and Commerce Bank (to be known together as TD Bank); and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD Bank Financial Group also ranks among the world's leading on-line financial services firms, with more than 5.5 million on-line customers. TD Bank Financial Group had CDN$509 billion in assets as of July 31, 2008. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges under the symbol "TD", as well as on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. For further information: Amély Tremblay, Morin Relations Publiques, (514) 289-8688, poste 226,

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