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More Canadian entrepreneurs plan to hire: 2012 RBC Small Business Survey

Unfazed by economic uncertainty, Canadian small business owners plan to invest in their businesses

TORONTO, October 17, 2012 - More Canadian small business owners plan to hire this year, according to the 2012 RBC Small Business Survey. Almost three-in-ten (29 per cent) are confident that they will be adding new (full or part-time) employees within the next 12 months, up from 25 per cent in 2011. Optimistic about the future success of their business, 68 per cent of entrepreneurs plan to invest in their businesses within the next two years.

Another recent RBC study found that 94 per cent of Canadians believe that small businesses play a critical role in the growth of the economy and 88 per cent view them as vital job creators in their community. According to Statistics Canada, small businesses continue to be key sources of new jobs - small firms accounted for, on average, 43 per cent of all jobs created in the private sector between 2001 to 2011.

"Small businesses are an important driver of the economy," said Mike Michell, national director, Small Business, RBC. "It's a very positive sign that, despite challenging times, almost three-in-ten Canadian business owners are telling us that they are preparing to invest in new employees."

However, hiring new employees is not without its difficulties for entrepreneurs. One-in-three (32 per cent) business owners with five to 25 employees say that finding qualified help will be one of their top challenges over the next year.

Taking a longer term view, key areas of small business investment in the next two years identified in the RBC poll include:

  • new equipment (35 per cent)
  • new technology (29 per cent)
  • new products and services (27 per cent)
  • hiring new employees (17 per cent)
  • employee training (17 per cent)

"The intention to invest in their enterprises demonstrates the continued resiliency of Canadian small business owners," added Michell. "Almost a quarter of Canadian entrepreneurs (23 per cent) expect to continue growing the size of their business. Many may see this as a good time to take advantage of low interest rates and perhaps purchase new equipment in USD or other currencies that have lost ground to our Canadian dollar."

About RBC Small Business Banking
If you are a small business entrepreneur who is starting a business, managing growth, or considering succession planning, the RBC Advice Centre can help answer your questions. Free interactive tools and calculators provide customized information covering many facets of business finance. In addition, online advice videos are updated regularly to answer questions that are top of mind with small business owners. With the guidance of RBC business advisors, small business owners have access to free, no obligation professional advice about RBC products and services. For more assistance, please visit rbcadvicecentre.com.

About RBC/Ipsos Reid Small Business Survey
These are some of the findings of an RBC/Ipsos Reid survey conducted from August 9 to 20. This online survey of 1,004 small business owners, who were either self-employed or owned their own small business, was conducted via the Ipsos I-Say Online Panel, Ipsos Reid's national online panel. The results are based on a sample where quota sampling and weighting are employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to Census data. Quota samples with weighting from the Ipsos online panel provide results that are intended to approximate a probability sample. An unweighted, probability sample of this size, with 100 per cent response rate would have an estimated margin of error of ±3 per cent, 19 times out of 20. Margins of error for subgroups will be higher.

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For more information, please contact:

Margie McNeil, RBC, 905-606-1425,
margie.mcneil@rbc.com

Angela Harkey, RBC, 905-816-5650,
angela.harkey@rbc.com