Small business owners believe next year will be better
A consumer pays with a credit card at a store in Montreal on July 6, 2010. (Ryan Remiorz / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Thursday, October 4, 2012 7:11AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, October 4, 2012 2:41PM EDT
TORONTO -- A new survey of small businesses has found that a majority of small business owners believe that next year will be better than 2012.
The BMO small business confidence report also found that nearly three-quarters of respondents were confident in their business prospects and the state of the economy.
The new BMO report is designed to produce an index score that measures the level of confidence small business owners have in the economy.
It is made up of measures of current business performance, outlook for the next year and expectations of growth in the next year.
BMO says that as a single-figure snapshot, this year's index score would register at 63 out of 100.
In the report, 72 per cent of small business owners described performance in 2012 as excellent to good, 56 per cent believed next year will be better and 50 per cent expected their businesses to grow in 2013.
"With an uncertain global economy, Canadian small business owners continue to focus on what matters most: their own customers and markets, plus growing their business," said Steve Murphy, Senior vice-president of commercial banking at BMO.
The results come as economic news has grown more bleak in the past few months, with both Canadian and global growth coming in below expectations in the first half of 2012, and the European debt crisis dominating headlines.
The survey was conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights between Aug. 13 and Sept. 5, using a sample of 500 Canadian business owners. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
The results are in line with previous surveys of small business owners polled in the same period of economic uncertainty.
On Wednesday, the latest poll by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business found optimism among Canada's small- and medium-size businesses rose last month for the first time since March.
The CFIB said its business barometer index rose two points in September to 62.0 from 60.0 in August. An index level above 50 means owners who expect their businesses' performance to be stronger in the next year outnumber those expecting weaker performance.
And last month, A CIBC poll of small Canadian businesses found that 85 per cent of small business owners were optimistic about the future success of their company. And nearly half -- 43 per cent -- said they planned to expand their business within the next three years.