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- TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey finds two thirds of small business owners are 'very happy' -

VANCOUVER, July 5, 2011 /CNW/ - Whether it's their shrinking office hours or the love of being their own boss, Vancouver small business owners are even happier than they were last year according to the TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey.

The report - which examined the attitudes and behaviours of small business owners in Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and Montreal - found that two-thirds of Vancouver respondents described themselves as 'very happy'. This represents the biggest jump in happiness levels year-over-year across all cities (a five percentage point increase versus a three percentage point increase nationally).

"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 Alec Morley, Senior Vice President, Small Business Banking, 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?

Vancouver small business owners say the biggest benefit of owning their business is being able to help customers and clients (97%). They also love being their own boss (96%), being in control of their own destiny (94%), the sense of accomplishment (93%) and opportunity to make more money (90%).

"It's clear there are a number of advantages to running your own company," says Morley. "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 some Vancouver small businesses are singing a different tune. According to the survey, small businesses in Vancouver that export internationally are most likely to admit that the strong dollar makes forecasting more difficult (46% versus 30% nationally) and is affecting their profits (46%).

"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 Morley. "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

The only city to have decreased their time in the office, small business owners in Vancouver currently work an average of 49.1 hours per week, slightly down from 50.7 hours per week in 2010. It seems small business owners in Vancouver know what they are getting into when they open their business. For the second consecutive year, they were most likely to say they are working about the same or even fewer hours than they expected. Still, many small business owners find it difficult to separate their business life from their personal life (61%), and the vast majority admit they can never truly stop thinking about their business (92%).

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; 100 were polled in Vancouver. 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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