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Canadians are keen to support local small businesses: RBC Poll

Will pay more for goods and services in return for convenient payment options and online engagement

TORONTO, September 18, 2017 - From their favourite local coffee shop, to the always reliable neighbourhood handyman, Canadians are passionate about small and local businesses. In fact, according to the 2017 RBC® Small Business poll*, 88 per cent of Canadians will choose to support a local business when possible, and 57 per cent say they would pay more for a product or service that is offered by a local business. In addition, today’s consumer is demanding more payment choice and opportunities to engage online and through social media.

“Canada’s small businesses are the driver of our local economies and when given the choice, Canadians want to support their small and local businesses,” says Jason Storsley, Vice-President, small business at RBC. “Owners and operators need to capitalize on this affinity for small businesses by satisfying consumer needs, like offering more payment options and engaging with customers online.”

Why payment choice matters
Canadians want more convenient payment choice with the majority preferring to pay by credit or debit, regardless of the purchase amount. Cash is a popular payment method for items under $25, but declines sharply for items that cost more than $25.

Almost 70 per cent of Canadian adults say that they would spend more at a small/local business if it accepted more than just cash as a payment option. Seventy-seven per cent of Canadians wish that more of the small businesses they frequent had ‘tap to pay’, and 47 per cent wish they had greater access to mobile payment options such as Apple Pay‡ or Android Pay‡.

“In today’s digitally connected world, there are many tools and resources available to small business owners that can get them online and engaged with their customers,” says Storsley. “Taking advantage of these tools, from sales to payments to social, will allow businesses to profit and grow.”

Small business ownership is on the minds of Canadians
The majority of Canadians (63 per cent) have thought about owning their own business. One in every three Canadians who has ever thought about owning a business has actually started or purchased a business at some point in their lives.

Greater control and money top the reasons why some Canadians want to own their own business, with 88 per cent saying that owning a business would allow them to have control over their future and 83 per cent saying that it would allow them to make more money. This feeling is stronger among current business owners, 96 per cent of whom say that owning their own business has given them the chance to have control over their career and 90 per cent saying they have the opportunity to make more money.

And our affinity for small businesses doesn’t stop there – 63 per cent of Canadians said that they would prefer to work for a small business.

Millennials go beyond by helping to promote their favourite local businesses
When it comes to supporting small and local businesses, millennials put their money where their ideals are. Over two-thirds (69 per cent) say they would pay more for goods and services offered through a local business. Furthermore, 75 per cent say they would support a local business by helping to promote them on social media. In fact, 66 per cent of millennials engage with small businesses through social media – more than 20 percentage points higher than any other age group.

Millennials are also demanding emerging payment options; 80 per cent wish more of the businesses they frequent had tap to pay, and 60 per cent wish more had mobile payment options.

Working for themselves is also top of mind for many millennials with 74 per cent saying they thought of owning their own business, 11 percentage points higher than the average Canadian adult.

*About the RBC Small Business Poll
The RBC Small Business Poll was conducted by Ipsos Group S.A. from July 13 - 17, 2017. More than 2000 surveys were completed online by Canadian adults, with more than 200 people represented in six different regions (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan/Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada). Representative sample results are weighted to reflect the Canadian population. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±2.5 percentage points had all Canadian adults been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population represented. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to, coverage error, and measurement error.

About RBC
Royal Bank of Canada is Canada’s largest bank, and one of the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies, and provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management, insurance, investor services and capital markets products and services on a global basis. We have approximately 81,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 35 other countries. For more information, please visit‎

RBC helps communities prosper, supporting a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments and employee volunteer activities. For more information please see:

® Trademark of Royal Bank of Canada.

‡ Apple Pay is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S and other countries. ‡Android Pay is a trademark of Google Inc.

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Media contacts:
Rob Merk, RBC Corporate Communications, 416-955-6665


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