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- TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey finds seven-in-ten Montreal small business owners are "very happy" -

MONTREAL, July 5, 2011 /CNW/ - Basking in the freedom and control that comes with owning their own business, Montreal small business owners have been ranked the happiest in the country according to the 2011 TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey.

The survey, which examined the attitudes and behaviours of small business owners in four major Canadian cities, found Montreal small business owners were most likely to say they are "very happy" (70%), followed by Toronto (68%), Vancouver (66%) and Calgary (60%).

"Many people dream of being their own boss and owning their own business one day, so it's no surprise that so many small business owners are happy where they are right now," says Gaston Trepanier, Regional Sales Manager, TD Canada Trust. "In 2011 we saw an increase in the happiness levels of small business owners compared with the previous year. When owners are optimistic, they tend to be more likely to invest in their business by boosting spending and hiring, which is great for their local communities."

What's the key to happiness?
Montreal small business owners were among the most likely to love being their own boss (97% versus 94% nationally). Being in control of their own destiny (90%) is also a big perk. Owning their own business gives them a sense of personal achievement (97%) and provides them with the opportunity to make more money (81%) and help their customers and clients (96%).

"It's clear there are a number of advantages to running your own company," says Trepanier. "So whether you're launching a new venture or expanding an existing one, the key ingredients to running a successful small business are planning, knowing your market, loving what you do, and surrounding yourself with experts to help you when the going gets tough. Your bank will have the resources to help: TD, for example, has small business experts on hand to provide you with advice on how to start or grow your own successful small business."

The strong Loonie is impacting small business
The strong dollar may be good news for those fond of shopping south of the border, but half of Montreal small businesses are singing a different tune as the rising Loonie weakens their exports. According to the survey, one quarter of Montreal small businesses that export internationally say the strong dollar is making financial forecasting more difficult (27%) and is affecting their profits (23%). Still, compared to other cities, Montreal small business owners were the most likely to say the strong dollar wasn't affecting their business (50% versus 43% nationally).

"The strong Canadian dollar is certainly having an effect on the bottom lines of many small businesses who export their products and services internationally," says Trepanier. "Small business owners should talk to their bank for strategies on how to manage the strong Loonie in their day-to-day operations and finances. For example, the strong dollar may provide small businesses with better buying power in countries like the US, so now might be a good time for some businesses to purchase new equipment and supplies from outside Canada."

Small business owners still work long hours
Managing work hours continues to be a struggle for Montreal small business owners who work an average of 47.6 hours per week, up slightly from 46.0 in 2010. At the same time, Montreal small business owners seem to have the least trouble separating their business life from their personal life (42% versus 40% nationally) and getting their mind off of business when they want to (16% versus 11% nationally).

TD Canada Trust has small business advisors in branches across Canada who can advise customers on starting, launching and growing their business.

2011 TD Small Business Survey examined the attitudes and behaviours of 402 small business owners in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary. One hundred and one small business owners in Montreal were surveyed. Small businesses were defined as those companies having 5 to 50 employees. The research was conducted by Environics Research between April 19 and May 9, 2011.

TD Canada Trust offers personal and business banking to more than 11.5 million customers. We provide a wide range of products and services from chequing and savings accounts, to credit cards, mortgages and business banking, to credit protection and travel medical insurance, as well as advice on managing everyday finances. TD Canada Trust makes banking comfortable with award-winning service and convenience through 24/7 mobile, internet, telephone and ATM banking, as well as in over 1,100 branches - most open 8 'til late and many now open Sunday. For more information, please visit: TD Canada Trust is the Canadian retail bank of TD Bank Group, the sixth largest bank in North America.

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