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- 2011 TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey finds 65% of business owners give their company's performance an A or B grade -

TORONTO, Oct. 3, 2011 /CNW/ - Despite the long hours, cash flow worries and HR challenges, Canada's small business owners are an optimistic group. According to the 2011 TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey, 50% of business owners think 2012 will be a good year for their business and a further 13% believe that 2012 might be their best year yet.

These optimistic findings from the annual survey, which examined the attitudes and behaviours of small business owners in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary, are supported by owners' grading of their own company's performance over the current or most recent fiscal year. Two-in-ten small business owners gave their company's performance an A+ (5%) or A (16%), 44% graded their business a B, 22% gave their businesses a C, and 11% gave their company a D.

"It's very encouraging to see the majority of small business owners are so optimistic about their business prospects in 2012," says Alec Morley, Senior Vice President, Small Business Banking, TD Canada Trust. "Sixty-five percent of Canadian small business owners gave their company's recent performance a B or above, so it's evident that many entrepreneurs are experiencing success despite the barriers in their way and this is due, in part, to good business planning, hiring talented teams and innovating."

According to the survey, those business owners who gave their companies' performance A or A+ grades say they succeeded because they made smart business decisions that allowed them to exceed projections (95%), hired great talent and retained the right people (87%), forecasted well (86%) and innovated with the right products and services at the right time (84%).


Operating a small business does have its challenges. In 2011, recruiting and engaging quality staff moved up on the agenda for small businesses. According to the TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey, small business owners identified attracting staff (76% versus 66% in 2010) and retaining staff (72% versus 64% in 2010) as two of the top barriers to success facing small business owners today. Perhaps not surprisingly, those business owners who say they work more than 60 hours a week are more likely to cite retaining staff as one of their most significant barriers to success (77%).

Although human resource issues were identified as greater challenges in 2011 than 2010, cash flow management continues to top the list as the most significant barrier to small business success. Seventy-eight percent of small business owners identified cash flow management as a significant barrier to the success of their business, with 41% saying it is very significant.

"Whether you need funding for innovation or are simply managing the time gap between payroll and getting paid by customers, access to sufficient cash and credit is integral to running a successful small business," says Morley. "A small business advisor at your bank can help you with financial solutions to ensure you have the right cash flow management system in place to suit your business' unique needs. At TD Canada Trust, we understand that small business owners often work long hours. That's why we have hundreds of branches across Canada that are now open seven days a week, making it easier for busy business owners to visit our advisors when it's convenient."


The 2011 TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey examined the attitudes and behaviours of 402 small business owners in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary. 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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